Disabled Arsenal fan takes on Emirates Stadium challenge for charity

Left to right: training partner Neil Shawerowss, 61, Paul Smith, 55, crew member Alan Manning, 54 an

Left to right: training partner Neil Shawerowss, 61, Paul Smith, 55, crew member Alan Manning, 54 and crew mamber Liam Manning, 30. - Credit: Archant

A disabled Arsenal fan is set to take on a gruelling wheelchair challenge to raise thousands of pounds for charity today.

Former sailor Paul Smith, 55, will attempt to circumnavigate the Emirates Stadium 255 times – a total of 100 miles– in just seven hours.

Mr Smith has been training six times a week under the guidance of a dedicated support crew ahead of the Challenge Emirates ride this Sunday.

He hopes to raise £25,000 for Save the Children with donations from local residents who are encouraged to visit the stadium to cheer him on.

This will be the third wheelchair challenge Mr Smith has taken on for the charity, having already raised £75,000 from rides in 2011 and 2012.

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Mr Smith, who sustained multiple injuries following a road accident in 1991, said: “I am taking on this challenge to follow on where I left off last year: 325 miles was a huge challenge for me last year but I have never gone against the clock.

“I want to see if I can beat the clock in the same way I am battling my own disabilities and in the meantime put the challenge to some good use by doing it for Save the Children.”

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Challenge Emirates will take place from 8.30am at Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium, Drayton Park.

Donations can be made online at justgiving.com/ChallengeEmirates or by texting to 70070 with a code NDLT60 and entering the amount.

Visit facebook.com/ChallengeEmirates.

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