Blackpool hero Rick beats the drop on the Big One

Blackpool army veteran Rick Clement showed no fear as he took on a towering challenge in aid of charity.

Tuesday, 7th June 2016, 10:35 am
Updated Tuesday, 7th June 2016, 11:38 am
Sgt Rick Clement abseils down the Big One

The former Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment sergeant, who lost both legs when a Taliban bomb exploded near his unit in Afghanistan in 2010, abseiled down 235ft from the top of the Big One.

He was raising money for the national charity of the British Army – ABF The Soldiers’ Charity.

Rick was joined by comedy duo Tommy Cannon and Bobby Ball and colleagues from his former regiment.

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Comic Tommy Cannon tackles the Big One abseil

Rick said: “It was fantastic and I want to thank everyone who made it possible.

“I was not worried because I am not scared of heights. I thought I might get nervous going over the edge but I didn’t.

“I ended up really enjoying the view. It was the perfect day for it and you could see all the way up and down the Fylde Coast.

“It was great seeing the lads from my regiment again and had a great crack with them and Cannon and Ball.

Comic Tommy Cannon tackles the Big One abseil

“The lads from the regiment carried me up the Big One using a Bergen. (army rucksack)

“We worked it out as the best way to get up there. I carried a Bergen for so many years, it was about time that one carried me!”

Rick used a specialist harness provided by the Battle Back Centre to complete the abseil.

He said he had been looking forward to the challenge of the abseil for weeks.

“I loved going on the Big One as a kid growing up in Blackpool and this is the sort of thing I have always wanted to do and which I want to continue to do in the future,” he said. “I would rate it as a nine out of 10, only the swimming with sharks event I did the other year was better because I am such a big fan of sharks.

“I was pleased to be able to help the ABF The Soldiers’ Charity because it has done so much great work over the years.

“It is important to keep the money flowing in so the ABF people can help people like me in the future.

“As the National Charity of the British Army, they look after all soldiers, veterans and their families in times of need. All the money me and the rest of the team raises will make a big difference those who might need their help.”

Martin Rutledge, chief executive of ABF The Soldiers’ Charity said: “The Big One is not for the faint-hearted.

“We are immensely proud at the charity that Rick is taking on this for us.

“As he has shown many times, he will not let his injuries hold him back.

“The money raised will make a real difference.”