Lancaster man takes on cycle challenge for fallen heroes

Ian Stirling.
Ian Stirling.

A Lancaster man who nearly lost his life after sever blood clots plagued his lungs is preparing for a gruelling bike ride to help war veterans.

Six years ago Ian Stirling was diagnosed with significant blood clots on his lungs and was lucky to be alive.

The 43-year-old. battled with ashtma for years which utlimately led to his discharge from the Royal Logistics Corps.

Ian is now on blood thinners for the rest of his life - but his health problems have not stopped him in preparing for a 310 mile cycle challenge in aid of Help for Heroes.

Ian will take part in the tenth Big Battlefield Bike Ride in France and Belgium on June 10.

“When I saw this, it grabbed my attention and fuelled by my interest in the World Wars, I was determined to take part,” said Ian, who now lives in South Shields but is originally from Lancaster.

“I could raise valuable funds for the charity as Help for Heroes do some wonderful work with our veterans.

“I am so determined to complete the 310 miles in five days, through the battlefields of the Great War, as this year marks the centenary of the guns falling silent which makes it all more poignant.”

The route will take Ian from the Glade of the Armistice where the treaty was signed in the two railway carriages through the Somme, Thiepval and Vimy Ridge, to name a few places along the way, ending his journey in Mons to attend a ceremony at Saint-Symphorien Military Cemetery.

The Big Battlefield Bike Ride is organised to support wounded servicemen and women as cyclists travel through historic battlefields and commemorate 100 years since the end of the Great War.

In the four months since signing up for this challenge Ian has raised nearly £1,600.

“My good friends, Vicki and Phil Marsden have been amazing in their support,” said Ian.

Vicki and Phil have also organised a charity night at Morecambe Cricket Club on Saturday February 24 at 7pm, to help Ian reach his fundraising target of £2,750.

Comedian Jimmy Taylor, singer Shania Green, magician Kevin Cunliffe and local DJ Kevin Green are among the charity night bill.

A raffle, a buffet and a sponsored head shave by Vicki Green will also take place.

Tickets cost £5 from Vicki Marsden on 07761659355.

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