CRICKET celebrity Alec Stewart proved a huge hit when he visited Mary Stevens Hospice.

The former England cricket captain met staff and patients at the Oldswinford based site as part of his role as an ambassador with Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank.

He was also in Stourbridge to show his support for Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank employee Mandeep Rajput from Tividale who is planning to cycle the 300 miles from London to Paris in July on behalf of the hospice.

It's part of the Bank's commitment through its 'Help the Hospices' campaign which it is currently running.

Mandeep, who has already made a bit of name for himself after appearing on television programme 'Come Dine With Me', is attempting to raise as much money as possible for the hospice and has set himself a huge target.

He is looking to boost funds through raffles, auctions and sponsorship.

Mandeep has already competed in the London Marathon and is currently in full training for the cycle challenge.

He said: "I have already seen at first hand the difference that Mary Stevens Hospice services make - not only to the patients but to their loved ones as well and if I can help in a small way, then I will be more than satisfied."

Sporting star Stewart also met members from Enville Cricket Club who are organising a charity match for Mary Stevens in memory of Enville members Adam Scott and Mark Heathcock who died at the hospice.

During his stop-off at the hospice, the one-time England wicketkeeper-batsman also signed cricket bats which will be auctioned off during the July 20 match.

Vickie Rowles, head of fundraising at the hospice, said: "Having Alec Stewart at the hospice was great for the nursing team who really appreciate the support.

"It really does make a big difference and gives everyone a big lift."