Blind Eric, 78, ready to tackle a skydive

Eric Andrews
Eric Andrews
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When it comes to taking on new challenges 78-year-old Eric Andrews doesn’t usually need a second invitation.

But when someone suggested he should try leaping from a plane at 15,000 feet and freefalling at more than 120mph, well he didn’t exactly jump at the chance.

Instead Eric, who is registered blind, has taken on a whole host of daredevil events to raise money for Sheffield Royal Society for the Blind. Looping the loop in a glider, a coast to coast tandem ride and walking the three highest peaks in England, Wales and Scotland, to name a few.

Eric who has Lord’s Disease – Late Onset Retinal Dystrophy – was chairman of the city’s Visually Impaired Walking Group when he first started the walking challenges.

While conquering Scafell Pike, he fell on the descent and injured his knee which made him think again about doing the skydive.

“When people use the word brave I am not sure the skydive is my definition of brave – maybe foolish.

“Brave was coming down from Ben Nevis on a narrow ledge with a very steep fall to one side.

“My guide said ‘you deserve a medal’ and I replied ‘you need two!’ Coming down from Scafell I had three falls.”

So when fundraising manager Sue Coggin asked Eric what his challenge was this year and the skydive was mentioned he found himself saying yes.

He will join a team of eight other people doing the tandem dive at Hibaldstow airfield on Saturday, ‘Yorkshire Day’, weather permitting.

They’ve all committed to raising at least £400 each for SRSB.

To sponsor Eric call Sue on 0114 272 2757 or email fundraising@srsb.org.uk