A school IT technician with a fear for heights has been inspired to jump 15,000 feet from an aeroplane in support of an heroic ex-serviceman’s coastline trek around Britain.
Skegness man Tony Leggett recently decided to take the leap in aid of Help For Heroes after following the progress of former soldier Christian Nock’s awe-inspiring journey over Facebook.
Christian has spent more than 300 days sleeping rough during his coastal tour to raise funds for the forces charity while highlighting the plight of homeless ex-servicemen - a feat which has filled Tony and countless others with the greatest respect and admiration.
“What he is doing is just mind boggling,” he said.
“If it was not for him doing this walk, there’s no way I would be jumping out of a plane.”
The Skegness Grammar School employee will be completing a tandem skydive, strapped to the front of a Red Devils expert, on Tuesday, September 10.
“If you’re going to do something - do it with the best,” said Tony.
The 42-year-old father-of-two says he is looking forward to the jump with ‘nervous excitement’ and hopes he can help add to the £80,000 which Christian has raised on his journey so far.
After a safety briefing at Nottinghamshire’s Langar Airfield, Tony will be flown to a height of 15,000 feet before he and his experienced guide take the leap - plummeting in free fall for around 45 seconds until their parachute opens.
“I’m not the best with heights, so I don’t really know what will be going through my mind,” he said.
Tony had the chance to meet his inspiration face to face when Christian passed through Skegness over the weekend, stopping off for a couple of nights on the balcony of the Chatsworth Hotel on North Parade.
Over the 3,500-plus miles Christian has covered to date, he has encountered many like Tony who have been moved to action by his efforts and is overwhelmed by their desire to help.
“I’m completely touched by it - I don’t know what else to say,” said Christian.
“Best of luck to him - I just hope he doesn’t plan on having any more kids if it all goes wrong,” he joked.
Tony’s wife Mandy and their daughters Amber, 13, and Jade, 7, have also shown their support, though they fear for his sanity.
“He must be mad,” said Mandy.
Tony has been pledged almost half of the £500 he must receive to complete the jump, just a few days after setting up his fundraising site.
To donate visit here.