A FORMER Keighley CID chief is to walk the length of Britain – for the third time!

Tony Hennigan will set off on his Land’s End to John O’Groats trek on April 27 – ten years since his last assault on the route.

A decade ago he raised money for Children in Need.

But this time Tony is supporting Oxenhope Sue Ryder hospice Manorlands, which like many charitable causes has been hit hard financially by the impact of the pandemic.

As in 2011, he will be accompanied on the gruelling 1,000-mile challenge by his Irish red setter Rua.

“My first Land’s End to John O’Groats walk was 20 years ago to mark my 50th birthday and then I repeated the challenge – but in reverse – when I was 60,” says Tony.

“Each walk took a couple of months to complete. I was entirely self-sufficient and carried all my own gear.

“Now I’m 70 and later this month, having had my second coronavirus vaccination, will set off for a third – and final – time!

“Hopefully campsites will open on April 12 and hotels, hostels and B&Bs on May 17 – so for the first 20 days at least, this old man and his old dog will be sleeping under canvas!”

Tony said he had no hesitation in choosing to support Manorlands.

“Over the years I have lost loved family members and friends who’ve been cared for in their final days by the wonderful staff at Manorlands,” he added.

“It costs £4.1m a year to run the hospice and much of this is raised through sponsorship. As a result of the pandemic, very few events have taken place so little sponsorship monies have reached Manorlands – and its charity shops have been closed.”

He has set-up an online fundraising page, at justgiving.com/fundraising/anthony-hennigan, with the aim of raising £3,000.

Manorlands supports patients with life-limiting illnesses and their families at the hospice and in the community, across an area covering Craven, Airedale and Wharfedale as well as parts of Bradford.

All services are free to patients and their loved ones, but it costs thousands of pounds a day to keep the hospice doors open.

Only a small part of the cost is covered by statutory funding.

Tony is also a long-time donor to the NHS Blood and Transplant Service.

He began donating blood 50 years ago when he attended his initial police training.

Since then he has given blood/plasma/platelets as frequently as possible and was recently presented with an award by the service after donating his 750th unit.