Saturday, 2 March 2024
Saturday, 2 March 2024

Ex-soldier collecting money for military charity at team’s last game of the season 

A former member of the British Army from North Wales will be collecting money for Blind Veterans UK, the national charity for vision-impaired ex-Service men and women, at Colwyn Bay’s last match of the season this weekend.

Matt Spruce, 41 years old and from Colwyn Bay, has already completed a row-a-thon and organised a charity football match for Blind Veterans UK and is currently training for the London Marathon on 23 April. 

Ahead of his physical challenge, Matt will be at Colwyn Bay’s final match of the season for their massive local derby against Llandudno to try and raise even more money for the charity.

He said:

“This is a great opportunity to raise a few more pounds for this amazing charity before the marathon while the Bay raise the winner’s cup!

“I’m a local lad and I served in the Royal Army Medical Corps for 23 years as a combat medical technician. I was deployed to operations all over the world including Iraq and Afghanistan.

“Having seen first-hand the devastating injuries suffered; I decided to raise money for Blind Veterans UK. I’ve treated people over the years who have lost their sight; this charity has a base here in North Wales where they do absolutely incredible things for our ex-Service men and women regardless of whether they lost their sight while serving or later in life.

“I’ve raised money for the charity before and they were massively grateful. I feel honoured and humbled to support them.

“I was fortunate to leave the military unscathed but many I served alongside made the ultimate sacrifice and lost their lives while serving, others became injured.”   

Matt has run four marathons before, but this will be his first London Marathon. 

He said:

“This is a tough marathon to train for because you’re mostly training in the winter months when it’s dark, cold and wet. It’s been hard to get the motivation to go out after work when the daylight has already disappeared. 

“My aim is to get myself fit enough to enjoy the day and to ensure I do my best for all those that are already donating towards Blind Veterans UK, this is what is motivating me. 

“I started training the first week of December and I’m running around 50km a week. I’m not going to win the marathon and I’ve no specific time in mind, I just want to have fun and not be in pain!  

“In the military, looking after your fitness and training are part of the job. I’d train three or four times a week during work time. When you leave you need to learn how to be a civilian, your habits change, and I was no longer looking after my fitness.  

“Being awarded a place in the London Marathon to represent Blind Veterans UK has changed that and I now can’t go more than two days without a run. I’m enjoying it and I want to keep it going.”  

The match kicks off on Saturday 15 April at 2.30pm. Matt will be there collecting money for Blind Veterans UK from midday.

If you would like to support Matt to reach his £2,000 target please visit his JustGiving page. 

Blind Veterans UK supports thousands of blind veterans across the country but knows there are many thousands more who still need its support to rebuild their lives after sight loss.    

If you, or someone you know, served in the Armed Forces, including National Service, and are now struggling with sight loss, then please get in touch. Call 0800 389 7979 or visit: blindveterans.org.uk/support.      

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