Bob’s bold descent raises thousands for charity

112890-264_ABSEIL_SR_14/8/11'Former paratrooper Bob Blackburn (84) ready to abseil down the Spinnaker Tower.''Picture: Steve Reid 112890-264
112890-264_ABSEIL_SR_14/8/11'Former paratrooper Bob Blackburn (84) ready to abseil down the Spinnaker Tower.''Picture: Steve Reid 112890-264
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A FEARLESS pensioner who abseiled 650ft down the Spinnaker Tower in aid of Help for Heroes has raised £1,072.

Bob Blackburn, 84, from Moorings Way, Milton, took on the challenge last month.

Crowds gathered to cheer and support his feat at the tower.

An extra £200 was raised from people who gave donations on the ground on the day.

It was the first time the tower had been opened to the general public for abseiling.

Bob, a former paratrooper, said: ‘I wanted to help Help for Heroes. It’s a marvellous charity. It’s doing more work than the government is.

‘I’m delighted that so much money was raised. I enjoyed it, it was pleasing.

‘I wish to thank everybody who donated and helped make the event possible. I couldn’t have done it without them.’

Contributions were also given to Bob’s cause from members of the Parachute Regiment and Airborne Forces Association (PRAFA).

Grandad Bob served in the Second Battalion of the Parachute Regiment for a year.

John Newman, secretary of the PRAFA, said: ‘It’s excellent that Bob has raised the money and it’s brilliant considering his age. He has never abseiled in his life.

‘Bob received a tremendous amount of support from the people of Portsmouth.

‘They rallied behind him and that’s testament to the fact we live in a military town.’

Bob is looking to do more challenges for charity including a sponsored wing walk.