A South Tyneside golfer once given just three days to live is proving ill health is no handicap to raising thousands of pounds for charity.
Tony Burridge was just 28 when doctors told him a cancerous tumour in his chest was so life-limiting he should not even bother recording Match of the Day.
Over the years I’ve just wanted to give something back for all the help I’ve receivedTony Burridge
Now, almost 30 years later, Tony, who suffers from Parkinson’s disease, is again defying the odds to undertake his latest cash-raising challenge.
At 4.30am on longest day of the year - Thursday, June 21 – he will head out onto Whitburn Golf Club’s course to try to complete four rounds – in his pyjamas.
His 72 hole test is being supported by his wife Lesley, 58, the manager of an assisted living complex, who will drive his golfing buggy.
Club professional Greg Jobling, as well as a playing pal and his eldest son Danny, 30, will join him at intervals for the Macmillan Longest Day Challenge.
Five years ago, Mr Burridge, from South Shields, who works as a porter at a private hospital, also underwent a kidney transplant, with Lesley the donor.
He said: “I know it sounds like I’ve been through the mill, but there a lot of people out there who are far worse off than me.
“Over the years I’ve just wanted to give something back for all the help I’ve received.
“I’ve done a few things here and there for local hospitals and the Help for Heroes initiative at my club and when I saw the Macmillan Longest Day Challenge, I thought ‘why not’?
“I’ve had a lot of support from people and I’m hoping to raise somewhere around £1,500 to £2,000.”
Mr Burridge once boasted a golfing handicap of 11, which climbed to 24 due his health issues and now sits at 17.
The Macmillan challenge is usually completed by teams of four, but he is happy to head out alone but for his wife.
As well as on-the-course support, he will also be cheered on by son Jack, 28, an insurance company agent who lives in the States.
Tony reckons he has raised about £5,000 by himself for charity and around £80,000 overall due to group fundraising activities, including those for Help for Heroes.
To boost funds, club pro Greg has donated a golf bag which can be won in a ‘guess the number of golf balls in the basket’ competition in the Whitburn club shop.
Anyone who would like to donate to Mr Burridge’s efforts can also do so at https.justgiving.com/fundraising/whitburngc.