Brave Phillip taking part in Hartlepool church steps challenge despite needing new knee

Phillip Sumpter on the stairs inside of Christ Church, Church Square, Hartlepool

Phillip Sumpter on the stairs inside of Christ Church, Church Square, Hartlepool

A WELDER is stepping up to a tall order for a cancer charity despite an excruciating knee problem.

Phillip Sumpter slipped over and fractured his kneecap seven years ago.

He was fine for five years, but two years ago his kneecap turned septic.

Now he walks with crutches and is waiting for a knee replacement.

But despite his predicament, he is determined to take part in an endurance challenge in aid of a good cause.

He will climb up and down the 164 steps of the tower at Christ Church Art Gallery, in Church Square, Hartlepool, on Monday for two hours, from 10am-noon.

Phillip is raising money for the Kay Smith Research Fund, which in turn will see funds distributed to Cancer Research UK and a child bereavement counsellor at Hartlepool & District Hospice.

He has dubbed the event Steps to Heaven and hopes to find a Hunchback of Notre Dame costume to take part in the feat.

Phillip says his strategy will be “one step with the bad leg, two with the good”.

Phillip, 50, from Park Road, said he used to jog and cycle but because he can’t do that now because of his knee he keeps fit by walking up and down the steps at the transport interchange in Church Square.

He added: “It’s the only training I can do at the moment. I think I will have no problem doing it.

“I’m looking forward to it, it’s for a good cause and every penny counts towards helping in the fight against cancer.”

He hopes to keep motivated during Monday’s challenge by carrying his digital radio and hopes his daughter, Alicia Charlotte, 21, will be there to spur him on.

Phillip said he chose the cancer charity as his mother Nancy suffered from the disease.

Phillip is being sponsored to do the challenge by the town’s One Life Centre, 23 Taxis and TAG Energy Solutions, which develops offshore wind turbines.

The fund was set up eight years ago in memory of Kay, who lost a year-long battle with breast cancer, and has raised more than £170,000.




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