Buxton daredevil set to take the plunge for cancer charities

Charity parachutist Chris Clayton with a photo of his father who jumped on D Day
Charity parachutist Chris Clayton with a photo of his father who jumped on D Day

A BUXTON daredevil is sky-diving in the name of charity – nearly 68 years to the day since his father parachuted behind enemy lines during the D-Day landings.

Chris Clayton will face his fear of heights when he takes to the skies with the British Army’s parachute regiment display team The Red Devils later this month.

The 42-year-old, of Compton Road, will do a freefall skydive from 10,000 feet – a 40th birthday present from his wife – to raise funds for Macmillan Cancer Support and Blythe House Hospice in Chapel-en-le-Frith.

Chris said: “Like so many others, my life has been touched by cancer including close family and friends and so I thought I would take the opportunity to raise funds for two charities that help people get through tough times.”

And he will be following in the slipstream of his late father, paratrooper and D-Day veteran Dennis Clayton, who sadly lost his battle with cancer 17 years ago.

A former prisoner of war, Dennis was aged just 19 when he dropped into Sannerville, in north west France, on D-Day as part of 8th Battalion 6 Para, helping to hold or blow-up strategic bridges to delay the German counter-attack, including the famous Pegasus Bridge after it was taken in the “Coup de Main” operation by the Ox & Bucks Glider Corps.

Born on South Avenue, Dennis lived in Buxton almost all his life and worked at ICI Tunstead for 40 years.

“To be honest, I’m a bit more emotional about it than I thought. I’m looking forward to the whole rush of the freefall,” added Chris.

“I first did a parachute jump in 1988 to raise money for Cancer Research – it seemed an obvious way to raise some money after my dad was diagnosed with cancer. I did a static line jump from around 2,300 feet, and since then have always wanted to do a freefall skydive.”

His latest skydive will take place on June 19 at Langar Airfield, near Nottingham– the location of his first jump. And he is aiming to raise more than the £600 he collected on that occasion.

To sponsor Chris, visit his Just Giving sites www.justgiving.com/ChrisClayton-Macmillan and www.justgiving.com/ChrisClayton-BlytheHouse, or pick-up a sponsorship form from Yannies Hair Boutique, High Street, Buxton.