89-year-old roller skater from Warwick smashes target to raise £35,000 to feed hungry children

An 89-year-old man from Warwick is hoping to raise money for a charity by skating 90 laps of the courtyard outside his flat, before his 90th birthday.

Dr John Wilcock, or 'Roller John' as he's otherwise known, plans to skate the 3.5 miles by January next year.

He'll aim to complete an average of two laps every week in order to raise money for FareShare - a charity that helps to feed hungry children and their families by redistributing unwanted food.

He initially set himself a target of £500, but his mission has captured people's imagination and he's reached £35,000.

Writing on his fundraising page, John says that he "cannot find words to describe how I feel" and that people's generosity has made his initial target of £500 "look a bit silly."

He adds that, "my skating too has improved unexpectedly. I imagined that I would be able to gasp my way round the courtyard for the planned 90 laps, but my legs are getting stronger and less rubbery."

John has uploaded a video to his Facebook page, complete with commentary, pointing out the obstacles and slopes he has to encounter on his laps.

As the eldest in a family of seven children, John says he know what it is like to have to go to school hungry and he was grateful for free school meals.

He says he's been inspired by both Captain Sir Tom Moore and footballer Marcus Rashford, who has campaigned for free school meals.

John has set up a Just Giving page to raise the funds. The challenge started last month and will continue for 45 weeks until January 18th 2022 - a few days before John's 90th birthday.

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