Fearless Bob abseils tower to huge cheers

GOING DOWN Former paratrooper Bob Blackburn, 84, abseils down the Spinnaker Tower.    Picture: Steve Reid (112890-270)

GOING DOWN Former paratrooper Bob Blackburn, 84, abseils down the Spinnaker Tower. Picture: Steve Reid (112890-270)

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WHEN the opportunity arose for Bob Blackburn to abseil down the Spinnaker Tower, he wasn’t going to let his age get in the way.

So yesterday, the 84-year-old former paratrooper and grandad descended 650ft down the tower to a chorus of cheers and a round of applause from a gathered crowd.

Bob, from Moorings Way in Milton, decided to take on the challenge to raise some money for Help for Heroes.

So far he has raised around £1,000.

He said: ‘There is a great deal that people my age can’t do.

‘But this opportunity came up and I grabbed it.

‘Age is in the mind. My body is weak but my mind isn’t.

‘There are a lot of things I can’t do.

‘But I was brought up with a can-do attitude.

‘I wanted to help Help for Heroes. It’s a marvellous charity. It’s doing more work than the government is.’

And Bob said he wasn’t too nervous when he was at the top.

‘I looked down and thought “that’s a very long way”, he said.

‘It was alright, I enjoyed it. It was pleasing.

‘The people here are magic.

‘I wish to thank everybody who has donated.’

Son Colin, 56, stood at the bottom of the tower shaking a Help for Heroes tin, in a bid to boost the amount of money raised for his brave dad.

‘It’s absolutely brilliant,’ he said.

‘I was right behind it. I supported him right from the start. I thought it was a great idea.

‘He loves to do things like this, so when this opportunity came up he grabbed the chance.

‘It was a great effort.’

Mia Decaen, duty manager at the Spinnaker Tower, said: ‘He’s amazing. I was shocked when I found out how old he was. It’s a good thing to see.’

Yesterday was the final day of a week of abseils down the tower.

It is the first time the tower has been opened up to the general public for abseiling.

To make a donation to Bob’s challenge, please visit bmycharity.com/ bobblackburn.

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