Stroke hero is back in saddle

Paul Newton
Paul Newton

A WIGAN stroke victim who battled back against the odds takes to the road on a trike tomorrow.

When keen cyclist Paul Newton suffered a stroke 11 years ago, he thought he would never get back in the saddle

But following years of rehabilitation, the 44-year-old father-of-two will take part in a sponsored cycle ride from Manchester to Blackpool on Sunday for Think Ahead stroke support group.

He will pedal 60 miles using a three-wheeler provided by Wigan Leisure Trust’s Active Living team and is thrilled to be able to enjoy one of his favourite hobbies again.

Paul, of Astley, who is a Think Ahead community stroke volunteer and a supporter, said: “As a previous regular cyclist, my ambition since my stroke was to get back on to a bicycle. I have been training for years hoping to ride a normal two-wheeled bike, but with balance difficulties, the only way is to use a three-wheeled trike and by competing in the Manchester to Blackpool sponsored ride this gives me a huge challenge.

“It is all about feeling normal again and riding a three-wheeler is as near to normal as I can get.

“My journey to recover from a stroke has been a long, hard struggle, but Think Ahead has supported me throughout and now I plan to use the event to raise awareness of strokes and support the group.

“Raising money will be a bonus.

“I am hoping this will inspire others and show that there are more options available and having a stroke does not have to restrict you,

“I think it will be very hard, but I am looking forward to it.

“It is something I have always wanted to do.”

A spokesman for Think Ahead, based in Leigh Street, Wigan, said: “Paul plans to take his time and gently ride the course. He will be followed by a support vehicle kindly donated by Francis Transport Services (Northwich) Ltd.

“We all wish Paul well and thank him for supporting our group in this fund-raising event.”

To sponsor him, call Think Ahead on 01942 824888.