Daredevil wows crowds at Norfolk Show

Considering Dan Whitby has a tattoo on the inside of one of his wrists reminding him of the date five years ago when he broke his neck in a BMX accident, one might expect him to be a little cautious.

Considering Dan Whitby has a tattoo on the inside of one of his wrists reminding him of the date five years ago when he broke his neck in a BMX accident, one might expect him to be a little cautious.

But yesterday the lad from Fakenham gave a fine account of what bravery is when he wowed the crowds at the Royal Norfolk Show with a series of death-defying stunts, one of which has only ever been performed by a tiny handful of other people.

Alongside his riding partner Samson Eaton, Dan gave four performances of stunt motorcycling as the Bolddog Lings freestyle team swung into action twice yesterday and twice on Wednesday.

But it was their final show performance as a duo - and subseq-uently Dan's final performance alone - which really took the breath away of the thousands of people watching in the stands.

After giving what appeared to be their final performance yesterday evening, the pair persuaded several of the senior grand-ring stewards to act as guinea pigs for the penultimate act.

The grand-ring's head steward Stephen Howlett was driven up to the top of the landing ramp in one of the Lings cars, at which point he demanded the presence of several of his colleagues.

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Seven of them climbed to join Mr Howlett, at which point they took off their bowler hats and saluted the crowd as both Dan and Samson roared their 250cc bikes into life and jumped over car and stewards - appearing to clear them comfortably.

Before risking life and limb, Mr Howlett told the EDP: “I must be mad! And I haven't even told my wife I will be doing it yet. We wanted to help make a fantastic show, I'm sure it will all be fine.”

And assistant head steward Tim Papworth said: “We are going to stand there like a lot of lemons but it's all about joining in and putting on a show.”

All was not finished though - after the jump over the stewards, Dan announced he was planning to make a solo attempt at one of the hardest tricks in the book.

Although he has performed a 360-degree back flip in public in the past, Dan admitted beforehand: “In practice I have managed to give myself two concussions doing this. And that is done above a massive foam safety landing area, so it's much safer than doing it for real over what would be a very hard landing.

“The main thing is that once I'm committed to the jump and I've started it, I have no option but to land it or it'll hurt a lot.

“And yes, I'm a little bit nervous.”

After a handful of practice runs up the special extra-steep ramp called the Super Kicker, the attempt was completely successful and brought loud cheers from the crowd.

Afterwards Dan said: “It was great to do that in front of a Norfolk audience.”

And it was all in the name of charity as well. The Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association, the body behind the show, donated £500 to the air ambulance after Dan had performed the back flip.

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