Meet Stoke-on-Trent’s answer to Captain Tom Moore who is cycling 1,000 miles for the NHS


A 94-year-old war veteran is set to cycle 1,000 miles in 13 weeks – to raise money for the NHS and a care home which looks after his fiancee. 

Roy Vickerman started his challenge on a static bike in his back garden on Monday and is aiming to cycle at least 10 miles per day until August 31. 

The former soldier, from Hartshill, was inspired by Captain Tom Moore who raised more than £33m for health service charities after walking 100 laps of his garden. 

Roy served with the Black Watch, the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, during the Second World War.

He took part in the Battle of the Bulge – Adolf Hitler’s last major offensive – and was later wounded by a sniper’s bullet.

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Roy said: “I’ve been wanting to do something for the NHS to show my appreciation for what health workers have done for me. 

“They helped me when I was 18 or 19 when I was wounded in the war.

“I was brought into a hospital in Basingstoke and then eventually I came up here to the North Staffs Royal Infirmary and they treated me there.

Roy and Nora, then both aged 18, pictured in 1944

“Then I ended up in Sandon Hall which was a therapy centre for wounded soldiers at that time. 

“Also, if it hadn’t been for Dr Young at Hartshill surgery I wouldn’t be here now because she carried out an examination on me and discovered I had got something in my stomach. 

“She rang me and said something is not quite right so they sent me to the hospital right away. She rang the hospital and made me an appointment the same afternoon.

“It’s a wonderful service and without the NHS none of us would be here, it is a lifeline.  

“They should be supported to the hilt. All the nurses and the staff at the hospital, particularly this hospital in Stoke-on-Trent, are fantastic. It’s one of the best in the country.”

Roy is also aiming to raise funds for Marrow House Residential Home in Longton, where fiancee Nora Jackson lives.

Roy Vickerman and his fiancee Nora Jackson, pictured before they were separated by coronavirus

He said: “Without those lovely people Nora would be completely lost. I don’t know what she would do, the care is excellent.”

Roy has aimed to raise a pound per mile and is due to set up a JustGiving page.  He added: “The coronavirus is a thing that is going to go on for quite a long time yet. It’s so important to keep active. 

“I wrote to Nora a couple of days ago. It’s been 13 weeks since I last saw her and I said do you want to continue with our relationship because it is a long time?

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“I rang the home and they said they read the letter to Nora and she said she wants to see me. I am arranging with the home to go over and see Nora through a window.

“We were always together, I miss her quite a lot. She knows what I am doing and she is proud of what I am doing, she always is.”

To support Roy’s efforts, you can donate to his JustGiving page here.





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