Double amputee crash victim Shaun Whiter to embark on 150-mile Ipswich Town cycle feat
PUBLISHED: 06:00 20 January 2017
Just months after former Suffolk footballer Shaun Whiter was left for dead after a horrific hit and run accident, he is set to take on a 150-mile cycling challenge.
The inspirational 28-year-old, whose Newmarket Town FC career was cut short by the crash, will join more than 100 people, including Ipswich Town Football Club legends, on a two-day tour of Suffolk using a specially-built hand bike.
He said: “The support I have had has been amazing, that is why I am giving back and raising money for the Ipswich Town charity and for the air ambulance.”
Shaun and his friend Joey Abbs were left for dead at the side of the road near Newmarket on July 1 last year after Jan Adamec, from Haverhill, careered into Shaun and pinned him against the back of his car.
The force of the crash was so great it slammed Shaun’s BMW into Joey, trapping him between his own car and Shaun’s.
Adamec fled the scene, but was later caught and jailed for more than three years after pleading guilty to causing serious injury by dangerous driving.
Shaun, an estate agent in Stansted Mountfitchet, Essex, had gone out to help Joey, who had a puncture. Both were wearing high-visibility clothing.
Shaun has remained positive since the moment he woke up in hospital, from vowing to be walking in time for his marriage to fiancée Charlotte Way, to declaring his ambition to become a para athlete.
His positivity has been matched by his incredible rate of recovery, which has staggered his surgical team and his family.
“I started walking a month ago,” he said. “I was not expecting to be using the prosthetics until April/May time so it has been amazing.
“You always want to do more, though, so sometimes people have to say ‘hold on – it was only six months ago’. Walking takes three times the effort that it takes everyone else, so it is tough.”
Shaun currently walks with a crutch and his next big target is being able to walk unaided before his wedding in July.
He will take delivery of his hand bike today, when training will start for the charity challenge.
He added: “I feel I have come a long way already and that is due to the support of the amazing people I have around me and the people I have met along the way.”
He said the crash changed his life forever and that he could not have got through it without the support of the local football community, who along with his family and friends raised more than £120,000 for Shaun and Joey’s recovery.
He said: “Ipswich Town have given me the chance to get back into a team environment and along with the other 100 riders involved in the tour of Suffolk we can help raise money and awareness for two great charities.”
Half of the money Shaun raises will go to the East Anglian Air Ambulance, which saved his life and rushed him to Addenbrooke’s Hospital for surgery.
Both Ipswich and Newmarket football clubs organised a charity match for Shaun a month after the incident, while the Blues later invited Shaun and Joey down to meet the air ambulance crew and the Town team.
Mick McCarthy remained in touch with Shaun and met him again at yesterday’s launch of the ITFC Tour of Suffolk.
Shaun added: “I would like to say thank you for everything that they have done for me and I wouldn’t be where I am without their help and support.”