Ex-player Jimmy Gittins inspired by Captain Tom to walk on crutches

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Jimmy Gittins outside his front door on crutches with his two childrenImage source, Jimmy Gittins
Image caption,
Jimmy Gittins says walking 26 laps around his Wakefield home on crutches "is quite a feat" for him

An ex-rugby player left paralysed after breaking his neck says he has been inspired by Captain Tom Moore to walk 26 laps of his home for charity.

Jimmy Gittins broke his neck in two places while playing rugby in 2002.

He said each lap around his Wakefield home would take about half an hour to complete on crutches but "the most I've ever walked is 15 minutes" non-stop.

Capt Tom, 99, raised more than £28m for NHS charities by walking 100 laps of his garden before his 100th birthday.

Image source, Jimmy Gittins
Image caption,
Jimmy Gittins said he initially felt "apprehensive" before starting out on his challenge

Mr Gittins, who started walking his first lap shortly after 08:00 BST, said he expected to complete all 26 by Sunday lunchtime with breaks in between for food, drinks and rest.

"I've never done anything like this before.

"I've walked around the garden but to do 26 laps of my home - it's quite a lengthy way around the house - is quite a feat.

"But I like a challenge."

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The 46-year-old quadriplegic and father of two described the Army veteran as "incredible".

"I've never thought about doing this until Captain Tom did his. I was inspired by him walking round [his garden] and I just thought what an inspiration and a lovely story and a fantastic thing for him to do.

"My wife is a paramedic and is on the frontline and I have so much respect and admiration for what they're all doing.

"I, myself, have had a lot of time spent with the NHS because of my injuries.

"I've done a lot with regards to doing charity work and I thought what can I do to help."

Mr Gittins is raising funds for two sports health charities - State of Mind Sport, of which he is a trustee, and the Steve Prescott Foundation - as part of the 2.6 challenge.

Image source, Jimmy Gittins
Image caption,
Jimmy Gittins broke his neck in two places while playing rugby in 2002

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