Norwich pensioner takes on wing-walk on 76th birthday in aid of greyhounds

Melvyn Shields taking part in his wing-walk in aid of the Retired Greyhound Trust. Picture: Submitte

Melvyn Shields taking part in his wing-walk in aid of the Retired Greyhound Trust. Picture: Submitted - Credit: Archant

A Norwich pensioner saw in his 76th birthday strapped to the wings of a Boeing Stearman biplane as he braved a 500ft charity dive.

Melvyn Shields, who lives in Rackheath, took to the skies for the wing-walk in aid of the Retired Greyhound Trust (RGT), a cause which, having owned and bred the dogs for 15 years, is close to his heart.

Speaking after the plunge, which took place at Damyns Hall Aerodrome in Essex on Saturday, he said it was 'extremely exciting' and that he wouldn't rule out another.

'Never say never - I have thought about doing something similar again, it is fun,' he said.

The wing-walk was not the 76-year-old's first daring fundraiser - he previously took part in a sponsored skydive for the RGT, in which he raised hundreds of pounds.

He said: 'I wanted to do this for all of the volunteers throughout the country who work so hard for the RGT.

'I want to help provide much needed funds and awareness of the charity, and the breed as a whole.'

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After the fundraiser, the team at his local RGT branch, in Great Yarmouth, presented him with a special greyhound clock to honour his achievements and mark his birthday.

Sarah Vella-Brown, marketing, communications and events manager at the RGT, said: 'We want to thank Mel so much for carrying out this amazing feat on behalf of the RGT. What an achievement. It is thanks to people like him, that we can continue to work towards a day when all racing greyhounds retire to loving homes and are treated with compassion and kindness.'

The RGT cares for and rehomes hundreds of retired greyhounds all over the country.

So far Mr Shields has raised £300 through online donations. To donate, visit

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