Charity fundraisers cancelled after disabled man’s bike stolen

Disabled chairty fundraiser Darren Walker with his bike which has been stolen.
Disabled chairty fundraiser Darren Walker with his bike which has been stolen.

A disabled man who has raised thousands of pounds for charity through sponsored cycle rides has had his beloved bike stolen.

Darren Walker had left his prize possession under cover at his work on Normanton Industrial Estate, when thieves took it last Friday.

Disabled chairty fundraiser Darren Walker with his bike which has been stolen.

Disabled chairty fundraiser Darren Walker with his bike which has been stolen.

Not only has it deprived him of his only form of transport to work, but it means he will have to cancel forthcoming rides which he had planned for charities including Wakefield Hospice.

Mr Walker, 36, of MacKinnon Avenue, Normanton, was born with only one arm and his £2,600 bike had been adapted especially for him so he could use both brakes by only gripping one handle.

He also has an adapted prosthetic arm for riding.

The former Freeston School pupil said: “I am absolutely gutted. That bike was my life.

“I have always had a bike since the age of three. My bikes have always been my relief and way of escaping things, including riding away from bullies when I was younger.

“I like challenging myself and have done lots of charity bike rides, but I am not sure what the point is and why I should do it.

“I have four charity events coming up and I am going to have to cancel them and give people, who have already sponsored me, their money back.”

Mr Walker has always used his bike for travelling as his disability has meant he is unable to drive a conventional car. He has also raised money for the British Heart Foundation, Help for Heroes and Wakefield Hospice.

For the past seven years the former Wakefield College student has worked as a forklift truck driver at K and N Drinks Logistics, on Tuscany Way, Normanton.

His bike was taken sometime between 7.45pm and 8pm while he was at work last Friday.

CCTV captured two men arriving on a motorbike. One man then got off and took the bicycle before they both fled from the site.

Officers from Normanton neighbourhood police team have appealed for witnesses or anyone who may have been offered the bike to get in touch.

PC Lee Winfield said: “Mr Walker rides for a lot of charities and he is going to have to return the money and cancel a number of charity rides because of the theft.

“He is disabled himself but still puts in the effort to ride to earn money for other people.

“Because of his disability the bike has been specially made for him and is very distinctive.”

Anyone with any information should contact the NPT on 01924 295453.