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Former Royal Marine who broke his back whilst serving to take on epic Raid 17 challenge


A former Royal Marine, who broke his back whilst serving in the Corps is to take on an incredible cycling challenge to support wounded or damaged ex-servicemen and woman.

Anthony Matthews will join 65 Degrees North as they take a team of up to 17 riders from coast-to coast along some of the most intense roads in the Pyrenees, all in aid of The Royal Marines Charity. The team is made up of up to 17 wounded, injured and sick servicemen & woman who have been preparing mentally and physically for almost a year.

Anthony, 42, lives with his wife Nicola in Penarth. Joining the Royal Marines in 1993, Anthony took part in various tours, both operational and training. Whilst deployed to Kosovo on peacekeeping duties, Anthony was involved in a vehicle accident. From the accident, he suffered a broken back which led to his medical discharge from the service in 2004.

"I’m really looking forward to the challenge that Raid 17 presents," said Anthony.

"As well as raising much-needed funds for the Royal Marines charity, it’s an opportunity to push myself to the limit, alongside a group of extraordinary people.

"I hope that my journey will encourage many other veterans who want to challenge themselves and prove that there is life beyond injury,"

Anthony Matthews, speaking to the Penarth Times.

 The team will start on a beach by the Atlantic Coast, finishing in the warmer waters of the Mediterranean. Such a route is known as a ‘Raid’ in the cycling world. This extraordinary physical challenge will see the team travel 720km (450 miles), climbing at least 11,000m (36,000ft) of hills and mountain, and on many days following in the tracks of routes makes famous by the Tour De France.

65 Degrees North is an organisation that seeks to help in the rehabilitation of wounded or damaged ex-servicemen and women by offering the opportunity to participate in challenging adventure. Changing the perception of physical and mental disability through the ‘Spirit of Adventure’ 65DN hope to inspire and motivate others to overcome, achieve and succeed.

Meet more of the team members that will be undertaking this brilliant challenge here.

Learn more about Raid ’17 here at the 65 Degrees North Website. Also, keep up to date with Raid 17 via their Facebook & Twitter pages.

Photo Credit :Penarth Times