Yorkshire war veteran, 89, completes latest leg in 100 mile charity challenge

An 89-year-old former paratrooper who has single-handedly raised £300,000 for charity and earned celebrity admirers has competed yet another trek.

Jeffrey Long MBE, from Bingley, has clocked up thousands of miles - and a few famous fans - by taking on extreme walking challenges over the past 12 years in aid of good causes.

And the ex-paratrooper's latest challenge saw him complete an “emotional” walk along the Leeds to Liverpool canal - part of a 100 mile challenge to raise funds for the Royal National Lifeboat Institute (NLI) and the Royal Air Force (RAF) Benevolent Fund.

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Pictured, Jeffrey Long MBE, from Bingley, during his latest trek - along the Leeds to Liverpool canal - part of a 100 mile challenge to raise funds for the Royal National Lifeboat Institute (NLI) and the Royal Air Force (RAF) Benevolent Fund. Photo credit:

The active great-grandfather, who served in the parachute regiment from 1950-1957, trekked 10 miles, starting at Silsden at 10am yesterday (October 24) in wild and windy conditions.

It was an emotional end for Jeffrey, who celebrated his 89th birthday last Thursday, (October 22), with the finishing line at the War Memorial at Bradley - which remembers the Polish crew of an aircraft that crashed during there during the Second World War. The war veteran planted a poppy cross of remembrance.

Jeffrey told The Yorkshire Post: "I stood back and saluted and it gave me a tear - it was very emotional.

"The day as a whole was great. It was a bit wild and windy to start with but only it calmed down a little I really enjoyed it."

The active great-grandfather, who served in the parachute regiment from 1950-1957, trekked 10 miles, starting at Silsden in wild and windy conditions. Photo credit James Hardisty/ JPIMedia.

It was the third in a series of ten planned charity walks, with 37.5 miles now under his belt out of the 100 mile target.

Last month he trekked 11 miles (17km) from RAF Linton-on-Ouse to the street in York where the aircraft crashed in 1945, killing 11 people.

He said: "As a paratrooper I was always thankful to the RAF for providing decent aircraft for us to jump out of.

"This is my way of giving something back."

Pictured Jeffrey Long MBE, from Bingley, who served in the parachute regiment from 1950-1957. Photo credit: James Hardisty/JPIMediaResell

Jeffrey, who still suffers back pain from a training exercise injury in 1954, said his next walk, which will raise funds for the NLI, will be a coastal route.

"We’ve got to keep them afloat - that’s my saying with it," he said. "And at the moment are so short of money and the big ocean boats built in 1996 - they need updating technology, at a cost of £1.25m each - so really I should be aiming to raise into the millions."

Jeffrey's heroic fundraising efforts

Jeffrey began fundraising 11 years ago when he first marched 650 miles from London to Lausanne in Switzerland while carrying a 30kg back pack to raise money for the Royal British Legion in 2007 - despite having never been much of a walker.

Jeffrey Long has clocked up thousands of miles - and a few famous fans - by taking on extreme walking challenges over the past 12 years in aid of good causes. Photo credit: James Hardisty/JPIMedia Resell

Since then, he has completed hikes for charity, including 84 miles along Hadrian's Wall and 100 miles along the south coast.

His fundraising efforts went viral in 2017 when comedian Jason Manford appealed to his social media followers to donate to Jeffrey's JustGiving page - helping him raise more than £120,000 for the RAF Benevolent Fund.

He said: "I had never done a long distance walk before I was 75. But when I got into fundraising, I discovered all these charities that need help and I can't say no."

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