Lyminster man, 72, cheered on by large crowd as he abseils in tribute to his brave late wife on her birthday

Daredevil Doug Astle has abseiled 320ft at the age of 72 as a tribute to his late wife, on her birthday.

The couple met on a blind date in 1983 and were together for 35 years.

More than 50 family members and friends cheered Doug on as he made his descent

More than 50 family members and friends cheered Doug on as he made his descent

“The laugher never stopped,” said Doug, from Lyminster, who took part in the Spinnaker Tower Abseil Day for St Barnabas House hospice in Worthing.

Linda Astle was cared for at St Barnabas House towards the end of her life, having been diagnosed with cancer in September 2016 at the age of 65.

She died on December 11, 2018, leaving behind Doug, their five daughters and four grandchildren.

Doug said: “When I saw on my Facebook feed that St Barnabas were organising an abseil on my wife’s birthday, I thought to myself, it’s got to be done.

Doug Astle at the Spinnaker Tower Abseil Day for St Barnabas House hospice in Worthing

Doug Astle at the Spinnaker Tower Abseil Day for St Barnabas House hospice in Worthing

“Linda was a very brave woman and I wanted to pay tribute to that, as well as raise money for St Barnabas, as the care she received from them was incredible.”

Doug joined 45 other St Barnabas House supporters in Portsmouth for the abseil.

With him were more than 50 family members and friends, who cheered and chanted as he successfully made the descent.

He said: “It was an awesome experience. With the support of everyone I know, I managed to raise £1,137 for St Barnabas and the sponsorship is still coming in.

“The way I describe St Barnabas to people who have never been is that when you walk into the hospice for the first time, it’s like being wrapped in a big warm blanket.

“The staff and everyone there are amazing and couldn’t have looked after Linda any better.”

Visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/doug-astle to make a donation.

Sophie Henderson, events officer at St Barnabas House, said: “We are so proud of everyone who took on the challenge and abseiled down the Spinnaker Tower.

“As a result of the group’s bravery, I’m thrilled to announce that we are on track to raise a combined total of £19,000, which is enough to pay for over a day of all care services provided by St Barnabas House.”