Newcastle Falcons staff and players were among those offering their support to John Mew last weekend as he walked 86 miles along Hadrian's Wall in aid of good causes.
Raising funds for the Newcastle Rugby Foundation and Forward Assist, a charity offering support and guidance to former servicemen and women experiencing difficulties in adjusting to a new life as a civilian, Falklands veteran John was joined for the entire length of the trip by Darren Greco of the Newcastle Rugby Foundation.
Among those joining them at various points along the way were Falcons first-team winger Sinoti Sinoti, director of rugby Dean Richards and Falcons staff members Katy McGurk and Melanie Magee.
Richards said: “John is an inspirational man. The challenges he undertakes for charities are some of the toughest there out there, and it’s a privilege to support him.
"He is a big member of the rugby community and is a familiar face at our ground while he’s preparing for his next challenge, so it felt appropriate for myself and other members of the club to assist him in any way we could."
John served in the Royal Navy for 12 years as a physical training instructor, ship’s diver and as a member of the Portsmouth Command Field Gun Crew.
He was on board HMS Coventry in 1982 when it was hit by three Argentine bombs and sunk within 20 minutes, with the loss of 20 crew members and nearly 30 injured. He has suffered from anxiety and depression and was only recently diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Funds raised from the walk, complete with a 35lb pack on his back, are going to Forward Assist, the specialist veteran’s charity based in Dudley, Northumberland and the Newcastle Falcons Rugby Foundation.
John, aged 61, from Dinnington, said: “To get this support from the Falcons is tremendous. It has certainly given me a big boost. The club has been fantastic with everything from fitness sessions running up and down the steps in the main West Stand to top tips on training and health and wellbeing.
“I have also received a lot of help from Forward Assist, and this challenge is my way of giving something back to everyone who has supported me."
You can still support John by donating to his page by clicking here.
Photo caption (left to right): Sinoti Sinoti, Katy McGurk, John Mew, Melanie Magee and Darren Greco.