Gulf War hero joins forces to boost local VC charity

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ONE of the world’s top-selling authors has promised support for a Doncaster-based war heroes’ charity.

Former SAS soldier Chris Ryan has accepted an invitation to be one of the patrons of the Victoria Cross Trust, which was set up earlier this year by Carcroft businessman Gary Stapleton to preserve the graves and memories of men awarded the VC.

The ex-soldier, who became a writer and security consultant after leaving the Army, may be visiting Doncaster later this year to meet up with Gary and other trust members.

He is due to embark on a book promotion tour and it is hoped he will be stopping off at a Waterstones branch in South Yorkshire.

Gary said: “We approached him and he was more than happy to accept our invitation without any hesitation.

“Chris wants to become an active patron and help us raise funds.

“We have already had many conversations and he wants to be more than just a name on our notepaper, he is taking an active interest in what we are doing because he is genuinely interested.”

Ryan joined the Army as a boy soldier and later passed the tough selelction process for special forces.

He was the only member of an eight-man SAS mission, Bravo Two Zero, to escape during the First Gulf War in 1991 and was awarded the Military Medal.

He turned his adventures into a book, The One That Got Away, which was subsequently filmed.

Ryan made SAS history with the ‘longest escape and evasion by an SAS trooper or any other soldier’ by travelling 190 miles from behind Iraqi lines, despite suffering injuries from drinking water contaminated with nuclear waste. He did not return to operational duties.