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Charity stunt is 'plane' sailing for 79-year-old Malcolm




Malcolm Sykes, 79, did a sponsored wing-walk in Selby to raise money for St Nicholas Hospice Care. (2757194)
Malcolm Sykes, 79, did a sponsored wing-walk in Selby to raise money for St Nicholas Hospice Care. (2757194)

A 79-year-old daredevil from Bury St Edmunds took to the sky at the weekend for a sponsored wing-walk in aid of a charity close to his heart.

Malcolm Sykes, of Oliver Road, travelled to Breighton Aerodrom, near Selby in North Yorkshire, on Sunday to carry out the stunt, which saw him strapped to the top of a World War One biplane for around 10 minutes.

“I was anxious beforehand but after the first couple of minutes in the air, I began to thoroughly enjoy it,” he said.

“I’ve never done anything like it before but it was the best feeling I’ve had in a long long time.”

The event was in aid of St Nicholas Hospice Care, which provided care and support to Malcolm’s wife Wendy shortly before she died of bone cancer in 2004.

Malcolm also chose to brave the flight in North Yorkshire as it was Wendy’s home county.

“Wendy would say I was daft for doing it but I wanted to do something to thank the hospice for the care they showed to her,” he said.

Malcolm’s three children, Dean, Jo and Hayley, also made the journey to watch their dad in action and cheer him on.

Malcolm Sykes, 79, did a sponsored wing-walk in Selby to raise money for St Nicholas Hospice Care. (2757191)
Malcolm Sykes, 79, did a sponsored wing-walk in Selby to raise money for St Nicholas Hospice Care. (2757191)

“I was at the same time incredibly proud and incredibly scared,” said Hayley. “Of course we knew he was safe but he’s my Dad.

“Mum would be so proud of him.”

Malcolm has raised more than three times his initial target of £500 - with the total currently standing at £1,600 and money still coming in.

“I wanted to do something outside of my comfort zone and say thank you for the wonderful care my wife received whilst in the hospice. This was my way of giving back,” he said.

And Malcolm doesn’t intend to stop there. He is already considering plans to carry out a zip wire ride in Wales next year, which will coincide with his 80th birthday celebrations.



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