Ex-commando stepping up to Everest's summit... at Blackpool FC's Bloomfield Road stadium

Matthew Disney taking on his challenge at Bloomfield Road in memory of Darren Daz Smith, as  Carl Etherington and Joseph Nicholson of Universe Gym who are supporting him watch on
Matthew Disney taking on his challenge at Bloomfield Road in memory of Darren Daz Smith, as Carl Etherington and Joseph Nicholson of Universe Gym who are supporting him watch on
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A Blackpool ex-Royal Marine Commando went not just one step beyond, but thousands, with an epic “climb” to raise money in memory of a fallen comrade.

Matthew Disney set his sights on climbing the height of Everest – 58,070 steps – on a Stairmaster machine.

Darren "Daz" Smith

Darren "Daz" Smith

He chose Valentine’s Day for the challenge as that was the day fellow Marine Darren “Daz” Smith from Fleetwood was killed by a Taliban bullet in 2009 while they were serving in Afghanistan.

Matthew was supporting Rock2Recovery, a charity that helps all soldiers, serving and veterans, that suffer post traumatic stress disorder and are on the brink of suicide, and The Royal Marines Charity, which helps both serving service people and veterans and their families in hard times.

With the help of Karl Etherington and Joseph Nicholson of Universe Gym at the Bloomfield Road football stadium, Matthew set off on the trek which saw him burning 1,000 calories an hour at 120 steps per minute.

Joseph Nicholson said: “I was six and a half years in the Royal Engineers and know all about combat trauma, so we were delighted to get the equipment for him for such a good cause. He's a tall lad and with the machine too he would not fit in the gym so we got permission to do it out on the pitch."

He said: “I am eating bananas, jelly babies and drinking smoothies. I was a Marine for nine years and did the 30 mile Dartmoor run carrying 32llb in weight and a weapon, but this is something else.“It is more endurance based than anything I have done before.”

Matthew told how he had been at Camp Bastion when he friend Daz Smith’s patrol was ambushed. “I was on RnR at the time when it happened. I came back on the plane with Daz and two lads from the Rifles who had died and was there when we took him back to his family.”

He has already completed one endurance test to raise funds earlier this year. He did 100 sprints at max speed on the treadmill in 1 hour 40 minutes covering 16.5 km in total.

Following the Everest challenge he has plans for five more ultra fitness challenges and hopes to raise around £10,000 in the year.

To support Matthew’s efforts visit justgiving.com/crowdfunding/disneyfitnesschallenges or visit his Facebook page at Facebook.com/LordDisneyRM