September 20 2014 Latest news:
Former RAF Regiment gunner Sean Atherton has completed two miles in his wheelchair down the main runway at RAF Honington as part of a 500-mile charity challenge.Sean Atherton (left) with Luke Delahunty (right) who has supported him on the Honington section of the challenge.
By Mariam Ghaemi
Wednesday, November 14, 2012
A FORMER RAF Regiment gunner who is in a wheelchair following a motorbike accident has completed part of a 500-mile charity challenge at RAF Honington.
Sean Atherton, 47, was a pillion passenger when he was involved in the accident in Cyprus in 1993, breaking his neck in four places.
Taking inspiration from the Proclaimers’ song ‘I Would Walk 500 Miles,’ he set himself the challenge of completing that distance, but in a wheelchair, for a number of charities which have supported him, including the RAF Benevolent Fund, as well as Forgotten Heroes.
Today, Mr Atherton completed a further two miles of the challenge - taking him up to 340 - on the main runway at RAF Honington.
He was joined by Luke Delahunty, who he had only met the night before, who has a similar background to him having also been in the RAF Regiment and is now in a wheelchair following a motorbike crash.
Mr Atherton said it was the support he had received that “made me want to push 500 miles in a wheelchair”.
“I’m overwhelmed with the support I’m getting. It’s very humbling. It really is a very emotional experience. It’s made me do this and I want to do more. I cannot do enough. The problem is I cannot raise enough money in a fast enough time that I want to. There are people who need it more than I do.”
Mr Atherton has been clocking up the miles at different locations, including RAF Church Fenton in North Yorkshire, which is near his home.
Warrant Officer Ian Galloway, who was the first person on the scene following the motorbike accident, invited him to RAF Honington after learning of the challenge through social media.
RAF Honington Station Commander Andy Hall said Mr Atherton was a “shining example of what our men and broader service community stand for”.