A father who was paralysed in the Manchester Arena attack is preparing to scale Mount Kilimanjaro to raise money for a very worthy cause.
Martin Hibbert wants to prove how “you can achieve anything” with the right help.
The 44-year-old Bolton-born football agent – who was the closest casualty to the bomb blast to survive – suffered 22 shrapnel wounds and was left paralysed from the waist down when he and his teenage daughter were among the hundreds injured in the terror attack on 22nd May 2017, but now, by showing his fighting spirit, he is aiming to take a Paralympic torch from the London Games to the top of Africa’s highest mountain in an epic seven-day expedition this September, and in doing so, he hopes to raise £1 million for the Spinal Injuries Association (SIA).
“I want to turn an appalling act of terror into a force for greater good.” Martin said.
“I want to do something to shift the spotlight away from those who tried to end my life towards those who helped me rebuild it [and raise money] for the Spinal Injuries Association”.
Now a wheelchair user, Martin will ride a custom-built handbike for the challenge, which he said he was inspired to do after learning that only one in three people with spinal cord injuries receive treatment at specialist centres.
Since his recovery, Mr Hibbert has worked with the Spinal Injuries Association (SIA) as a trustee to offer “hope, confidence and practical skills” to other people paralysed by spinal cord injury.
He hopes that his climb will send a message of optimism and inclusivity for life after injury.
“We thought we would try and do something within the Paralympic year just to highlight don’t write disabled people off, we can still do a lot and we are still strong and with the right help and support you can achieve anything.” Martin added.
He continued: “The money raised is my way not just to thank Spinal Injuries Association for everything it has done for me but to make sure it can reach the thousands who remain in urgent need.
“Without them, I wouldn’t be here today”.
Martin will be joined on his trek by Rob Grew – who ran into the Manchester Arena immediately after the explosion to offer help to the severely injured casualties – and Stuart Wildman, the head nurse at the Major Trauma Centre at Salford Royal, who treated Mr Hibbert when he was admitted after his injury.
“To do it with those two people is going to be amazing and I think there will be a lot of tears.” Martin admitted.
Speaking ahead of Martin’s challenge this year, Nik Hartley OBE – Chief Executive of the Spinal Injuries Association – said: “Martin is a football-loving family man whose life changed unexpectedly and forever one night in Manchester.
“With grit and determination, he has rebuilt his life and is now supporting other injured people.
“Too often disabled people are seen as second-class citizens, but Martin’s incredible climb is a powerful statement of why achieving one’s goals should not be defined by disability.”
Keen to show your support to Martin? All donations towards Martin’s target of raising £1 million for the Spinal Injuries Association (SIA) can be made via his official GoFundMe page here.
Manchester City fan gets treble tattoo before Champions League final
We’ve seen plenty of tattoos gone wrong down the years and even more football fans getting ahead themselves, but it must have taken a special kind of confidence for this Manchester City fan to get the treble tattooed on his body before the Champions League final has even been played.
Nevertheless, after yet another stellar domestic season and with two-time UCL winner Pep Guardiola at the helm, most fans, rivals and neutrals alike all think this is the year they’re going to lift their first Champions League — in fact, this man is certain of it.
The diehard City fan, simply known as Stuart on TikTok, shared multiple clips on his account on Tuesday, the first of which showed the treble tattoo in progress and has already had nearly 200,000 views in less than 24 hours.
Naturally, the comments underneath the videos are as you’d expect, with people remarking, “you’ve just made Inter win”, “he’s gonna regret that”, “RIP bro”, “pov: 2021” — the last CL final they qualified for and lost to Chelsea despite being heavy favourites — and so on.
However, responding to haters in the comments, Cityzen Stuart’s confidence looks to be unshakable, stating that it’s now “impossible” for them to lose and there’s “not a chance” Pep goes another yet without winning another Champions League.
Having already flown over to Turkey for the final in Istanbul this weekend, he shared a more recent video showing the tattoo in more detail, complete with full colour and shading.
Football fans are often superstitious (it’s such an unpredictable sport that it’s hard not to be) but it’s fair to say a lot of people are now worried he might have jinxed it, not to mention every single Red hoping that he has. For his sake, he better hope the footballing gods don’t take this kind of stuff into account.
This year’s final kicks off at 8pm on Saturday, 10 June and City fans everywhere will be hoping to Pep and co. lift the Champions League trophy in the club’s history and win a historic treble in the process.
They are already going to go down as one of the best squads ever assembled but, for many, this could see them held up there as the greatest of all time. The question is, can they take that final step?
Featured Image — @stuart1308 (via TikTok)/Comedy Central/UEFA
Nando’s launches new Fully Loaded Chips as part of limited-edition summer menu
Nando’s has launched a new limited-edition summer menu, and there’s one long-awaited side dish that seems to be the star of the show.
After taking to social media over the last week to tease that a handful of new and returning favourites would be forming part of a menu refresh as summer nears closer, Nando’s has finally confirmed what foodie fans have been waiting for.
Fully Loaded Chips are actually a thing, and you can now order them at restaurants across the UK.
Fans of the Portuguese-inspired restaurant chain on TikTok are known for sharing their own ‘Nando’s hack’ recreations of classic Nando’s dishes at home, as well as giving others some handy and budget-friendly tips and tricks for how to give their usual meals a bit of Nando’s flare.
Videos showing fans’ fully-loaded versions of the restaurant’s popular PERI-Salted Chips have often gone viral, and
But now, it’s no longer just a viral make-at-home concept, as the restaurant has revealed that its brand-new sharer is available to order as the ideal side dish to accompany any Nando’s meal out with your mates.
Nando’s has even admitted it’s “inspired by fans and Nandocas making their own on TikTok”.
The new Fully Loaded Chips is a big sharing portion of the chain’s legendary PERi-Salted Chips topped with pulled chicken, melted cheddar cheese, spring onions, PERi-Tamer sauce, and a creamy dressing.
Currently only available to order as an ‘Eat In’ dish at Nando’s restaurants in England, Scotland, and Wales, the new dish is described as being “the ultimate sharer” that combines “all your Nando’s favourites into one”.