A BURTON grandfather who took a leap of faith to raise money for charity has managed to raise £1,400 in memory of his son-in-law.
Jerry Chatfield took part in his first tandem skydive at the age of 70 to boost funds for the British Heart Foundation and Pathfinders Neurological Care Centre, in Ollerton, Nottinghamshire.
He chose to support the charities as they helped his son-in-law Carl Legg, who was left brain damaged following a devastating heart attack. He died last year at the age of 36, leaving wife Heather and children Joe, 14, and Erin 11, after living with his condition for six years.
Mr Chatfield, of Hawthorn Crescent, in Stapenhill, said: “It was a bit frightening, especially in the initial freefall section.
“You can hardly breathe at first and your cheeks are flapping. I was glad once I’d pulled the canopy and you can see the ground clearly.
“I’m glad I did it, but I’m glad to be back on dry land.”
Mr Chatfield said he had wanted to do a skydive since he was a young man working as a storeman with the RAF. He said he always envied his colleagues who had the chance to take part in daredevil antics like jumping out of planes.
“I wanted to do it before I got too old,” he told the Mail.
The septuagenarian daredevil did the jump at Langar Airfield at the end of August, and has now handed over the money to the two organisations – 60 per cent to the British Heart Foundation, and 40 per cent to Pathfinders.
He said: “I would like to thank my supporters, namely Burton Solo Club, Burton Rambling Club and Vintage Motorcycle Club, the National Trust, and Sudbury Hall volunteers and staff, Tai Chi members, neighbours and my family and friends.”
Mr Chatfield’s family is already asking him when he is going to do another fund-raising stunt, but he said he has not got anything planned in at the moment.