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Tyrannosaurus! TREKS!

THE MAN who crossed Australia on a penny farthing, performed the first underwater marathon in Loch Ness, and completed the London Marathon in a deep sea diving suit, faced a challenge when it came to his new fundraising stunt.

But, with the sizeable footprint of a 30ft long, 13ft high Tyrannosaurus Rex, former Blackpool FC goalkeeper Lloyd Scott can claim another fundraising feat that will go down in history.

The 48-year-old charity champion is walking an average 20 miles a day from Land's End to John O' Groats, closely followed by the prehistoric predator, which is being towed by a jeep.

The latest stop was in Blackpool, where Mr Scott, dressed as Indiana Jones, delighted children and adults alike, allowing them to clamber on his frightening friend.

Mr Scott said: "The dinosaur has certainly created quite a stir. When I arrive near major towns and cities, I parade through the streets with the T-Rex.

"Children love him, but even pensioners have sat on him and had their photo taken."

Mr Scott, who has raised almost 5m for cancer charities in his fundraising career, has already banked 125,000 through the T-Rex Trek, for a cause close to his heart.

It is 20 years since he received life-saving treatment after suffering from leukaemia for 18 months.

Since his recovery he has staged increasingly wacky fundraising events, helping to establish specialist cancer units for 23 hospitals in the UK.

"All the money from collecting in the towns and sponsorship will go to the Teenage Cancer Trust.

"It is 20 years since I had a bone marrow transplant, when it was a fairly new procedure, after finding a donor through the Anthony Nolan

Bone Marrow Trust panel, and I feel indebted for that.

"I want to do all I can to help make cancer extinct.

"When you're raising money for charity, you need to come up with an idea that will be as eye-catching as possible to get the most attention, and therefore the most money.

"The T-Rex came about by accident. At the last London Marathon, Shane Richie had interviewed me, and a reporter asked him what I had up my sleeve next.

"He was taken unawares, so said something about it involving a big dinosaur.

"Well, I lived up to his promise and here I am, on day 37 of my trek, in Blackpool."

The fundraiser is no stranger to the resort, having played as Blackpool FC's keeper in 1982, where he met future wife Carole, mother of his three children, Aimee, 20, and twins Luke and Elliot, 15.

Mr Scott, who was born in Rainham, London, said: "It felt like coming home when I arrived in Blackpool, which is nice when you've been walking around 20 miles a day and you're really tired.

"I lived in digs in Bloomfield Road, and everyone made me so welcome when I played here in 1982.

"And my children were integral in helping with the route, which was about three months in planning, as well as helping design the dinosaur, which was made to order by Asian Replicas in the Philippines.

"My dad, Ed, has been very loyal and has driven the mobile home that I had donated by Marquis, across the country behind me.

"It's very important to me that my family gets involved in something so close to my heart."

Mr Scott's family can certainly be proud of his achievements, which include a marathon up Everest in 1993, a 135-mile Death Valley Ultra Marathon in 1998, and a world record for the slowest ever marathon, crossing the finishing line of the 2006 London Marathon, wearing a suit of armour and dragging a 300lb dragon, in eight days and 13 minutes.

But the marathon man is not sure how many more how many more times he will raid the fancy dress cupboard and don the running shoes.

"The old saying, "it's not the age, it's the mileage" is quite fitting for me. Taking on so many outrageous pursuits does take its toll. This one was three months in the planning and will take more than two months to complete.

"I might manage the marathon next year, but then, maybe I will have a well-deserved rest!"

The prehistoric walk, which began on July 19, is set to finish in John O' Groats on September 27.

 
 
 

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