INJURED FAN IN NEW CHALLENGE
Chelsea fan Corporal Tom Neathway, who had both legs and an arm amputated following an injury in Afghanistan, is undertaking the challenge of a lifetime after signing up to take part in the Dakar Rally.
Corporal Neathway, whose first visit as a guest of the club was back in December 2008, just months after he was caught by a booby trap on a fighting patrol near Kajaki, is a part of the Race2Recovery team, a group consisting mainly of injured servicemen and women aiming to become the first disabled team to compete the gruelling race, and is raising money to support the Personnel Recovery Centre in Tidworth, Wiltshire.
'It's been great to have been involved in this project right from the outset,' he said. 'My rehabilitation has always been about setting goals for myself and to able to raise money for a brilliant cause at the same time makes this very special.
'We want every car to finish the race and I want my car to be there at the end. It's a once in a lifetime experience so, whilst we're all extremely serious and committed, we're also making sure that we're having fun at the same time. I fully intend to make the most of the whole experience and I hope people can continue to support us like they have so far.'
Their activities have also caught the eye of another Chelsea supporter, Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson, who lent his support to the team.
'These people are amongst the most inspirational I have ever met,' he said. 'They are undertaking one of the most daunting challenges in the racing world with an amazing sense of humour and camaraderie as though their injuries were non-existent. I am truly humbled by their positive attitude and spirit and wish them all the luck in the world.'
You can find out more about Race2Recovery and their activity in the lead-up to the 2013 Dakar Rally here.