A Sutton and Epsom Rugby Club player is set to run in all 32 London boroughs in 32 days after a friend was killed in a bike accident.

Sam Rowley, who previously played with him for the Cheam Chargers basketball club in Morden, was 33 when he fatally crashed into a car at 40 mph during the Classic Oxfordshire Sportive in May 2016.

Now James Earlby, from the Ridgeway in Epsom, will run a 5K in each borough - both in Sam's memory and in a bid to raise funds for The Big Cheese Charity.

Surrey Comet:

James Earlby

The 32-year-old chartered secretary, who plays second row for the rugby side, said: “He was a basketball player [with the Cheam Chargers], that’s how we met.

“He was a very happy go-lucky, kind of guy and he had a slogan like, ‘Why wouldn’t you do something?’ He was always up for doing something.

“We lost a good friend so I sort of had this idea in my head that I was 32-years-old, there are 32 London boroughs, everyone has done a marathon so why not run for 5km in each of them?”

Mr Rowley was from Putney, in Wandsworth, and his brother paid tribute to him during an inquest into his death last May.

The Big Cheese Charity provides financial support to children and teams who don’t have the equipment to play basketball, a sport which Mr Rowley loved.

A total of £1,316 – including Gift Aid – has been raised so far at the time of writing, which is above the £1,000 target and Mr Earlby has completed half of the boroughs so far – 16 out of 32.

At the inquest, brother Alex Rowley said: “He was a funny and warm-hearted brother, a very popular person who had many friends.

“Life was going well for him and his work was too – the loss of Sam has hit us all very hard.”

Mr Earlby will also complete a 33rd run in the City of London, where he works, as it is not considered a London borough, while running 'en masse' in kit with a mixed basketball team on April 14.

To see the JustGiving page, click here.