John is action man at 79

Partially blind parachute jumper John Robinson with his wife and carer Ellen
Partially blind parachute jumper John Robinson with his wife and carer Ellen
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HE may be 79 and blind, but John Robinson is not the kind of man to sit around in retirement.

John has done more than 1,000 parachute jumps, many for charity, and says there is no better feeling than the buzz you get from jumping out of a plane ... and although he turns 80 in a few months time he is not planning on slowing down.

He said: “We got back from living in Cyprus last year and while there I did three tandem jumps after 36 years of not jumping and it really renewed my love for them.

“So when we moved back to Wigan I decided that I would do another, but after inquiring at one jumping school I was told that they didn’t let anybody jump who was above the age of 60. But that won’t stop me and I’ll just have to look for somewhere else.”

John, from Hindley, lost his sight in one eye when he was 14 after a light bulb exploded in his face.

He became a teacher then managed to get a job in the RAF as a physical fitness officer, later qualifying as a parachute instructor and completing more than 1,100 jumps, including 700 free falls.

John and his wife Ellen retired in 1991 and were enjoying their retirement until 1997 when he suddenly lost the sight in his other eye.

Since then John has had a series of operations which have given him a 60th of his sight back in one eye.

Undeterred he has arranged a series of charity concerts in the last 12 years, which along with money from his jumps, have raised more than £20,000.

His latest, in aid of Wigan and Leigh Hospice, will be at St Peter’s Church, Hindley, on Friday, March 4 at 7.45pm.

There will be music from Golborne Brass Band, Bolton Male Voice Choir, a female vocalist as well as from John himself who will lead an audience sing along of old time music hall favourites.

A Last Night at the Proms-style finale will conclude the night.

Pay on the door, £4 or £3 concessions.