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Top Gear stars back East Lancashire rally hero's charity crusade
TOP GEAR hosts have thrown their support behind a rally hero’s charity crusade.
Justin Birchall, 40, was part of the Race2Recovery team which became the first disabled crew ever to complete the gruelling Dakar Rally in South America in January.
And tickets to see Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May in the flesh are up for grabs this weekend as the Burnley businessman holds a gala ball to raise funds for a veterans’ charity.
The prize came about as a result of Justin being invited to a recording of the hit BBC programme after its presenters learned of his team’s remarkable rally story.
Justin, a former student at Casterton Primary School, Fisher More High School and Nelson and Colne College, said: “It was fantastic to have the support of the Top Gear presenters because, as car enthusiasts, we are all huge fans of the show. Being invited to the show and having the chance to chat to them about our experiences at the Dakar was a dream come true.”
Dad-of-three Justin, who lives in Middop, near Gisburn, spent five nights in hospital in Peru after a support vehicle he was travelling in was involved in a fatal three-car collision.
Two Peruvian civilians died in the accident, while Justin was left with four broken ribs, neck and back injuries.
His team, which included ex-servicemen such as Corporal Phillip Gillespie, an amputee from Northern Ireland, has already raised around £1million for various veterans’ charities.
Justin and his wife Louise, 43, both directors at Hapton-based firm Birchall Foodservice, have organised this Saturday’s fundraiser, at the Fence Gate Inn, in Wheatley Lane Road, Fence, to push towards their personal target of donating £25,000.