Home   News   Article

Amputee cyclist on course to reach John O’Groats on Friday


By Alan Hendry

Easier access to your trusted, local news. Subscribe to a digital package and support local news publishing.



Stuart Croxford on day seven of his 2000km cycle from Land’s End to John O’Groats in aid of a charity that supports limbless and injured veterans.
Stuart Croxford on day seven of his 2000km cycle from Land’s End to John O’Groats in aid of a charity that supports limbless and injured veterans.

An amputee ex-serviceman who was seriously injured in Afghanistan is nearing the end of his 2000km cycle from Land’s End to John O’Groats.

Stuart Croxford (36) is raising funds for Blesma, a charity that provides limbless and injured veterans with lifelong support, and is on course to arrive at Groats on Friday.

He is a former captain of the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment.

Stuart embarked on the challenge on May 9 and cycled up to 20 hours a day through Truro, Exmoor National Park, the Quantock Hills, Bristol, Brecon Beacons National Park, Manchester and the Yorkshire Dales before crossing the Scottish border on Monday. He has now reached the Highlands.

Stuart was joined along the way by triple paralympic medallist Jaco van Gass, who cycled 150km with him from the edge of Snowdonia National Park to Manchester.

“The cycle so far has been a huge test of physical and mental endurance," Stuart said. "At times it has involved sleeping out under the stars, and often getting just four to five hours' sleep.

Stuart and his wife Lizzie with baby daughter Kensa.
Stuart and his wife Lizzie with baby daughter Kensa.

"Despite severe exhaustion at times, I kept pushing through, knowing we are raising funds for a fantastic charity.

“The route has taken me on single-track, gravel roads, byways, and quiet rural lanes through some of the most challenging and incredible landscapes the United Kingdom has to offer.”

Stuart was deployed on three operational tours in both Afghanistan and Iraq.

In 2012, he suffered severe injuries to his feet when his vehicle hit an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan. A subsequent accident in 2014 resulted in his right leg being amputated below the knee.

Determined not to let his injury hold him back, he set his sights on qualifying as a ski instructor, which he completed four months post-amputation.

Stuart went on to complete a full Ironman, the London Marathon and numerous 100-mile cycling challenges.

Stuart with the Ava Croxford Defender.
Stuart with the Ava Croxford Defender.

Inspired by Stuart’s story, electric vehicle company Ava developed the Croxford Defender in his honour. It is serving as the support vehicle, having been built in cooperation with Stuart.

Ava founder Norman Crowley said: “The Ava Croxford Defender celebrates Stuart’s remarkable story of resilience and positivity."

Blesma is dedicated to assisting serving and ex-servicemen and women who have suffered life-changing limb loss and loss of use of limb. The charity celebrates its 90-year anniversary this year.

It supports 3000 members to lead independent and fulfilling lives by providing emotional, practical and financial support. Stuart has been a trustee of Blesma since 2020.

Stuart hopes the cycle challenge will raise £50,000 for the charity. Members of the public can donate through his JustGiving page.

Stuart's progress can also be followed here.


Do you want to respond to this article? If so, click here to submit your thoughts and they may be published in print.



This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies - Learn More