Star of the show! Chelsea pensioner braves charity abseil down Britain’s tallest rollercoaster

Steve ‘Tankie’ Allen celebrated his success after taking on a 235ft decent down the UK’s tallest rollercoaster in aid of ABF The Soldiers’ Charity on Monday.

Tankie along with 40 other veterans and serving soldiers harnessed up to climb the summit of The Big One at Blackpool’s Pleasure Beach, before abseiling safely to the ground.

Crowds gathered to cheer on 72-year-old Tankie and trumpeters from The Band of the Kings Division played fanfare to boost morale as he and the others set off for the climb.

chelsea pensioner abseil walking to the big one
MARCH OF THE BRAVE: Tankie heads to The Big One

Tankie said: “The hardest part was climbing up the 424 steps to get to the top. Once I got up there the view was fantastic – you could see for miles.

“I got roped up and climbed over the edge, that was a bit nerve-wracking. Once I kicked off it was brilliant because you could control yourself with the rope.”

chelsea pensioner abseil don't look downDON’T LOOK DOWN! 72-year-old veteran faces a 235ft descent

Event organiser, Phil Naylor said: “Chelsea Pensioner Steve ‘Tankie’ Allen was the star of the show and a great example for many.”

“Once I got to the bottom everyone was cheering. I thoroughly enjoyed it and it was a fantastic experience”, said Tankie.

The inspirational for the Tankie’s abseil came from his friend Dave Watson, who accomplished it after losing an arm and both legs in Afghanistan in 2010.

Tankie has so far raised a total of £888 for his daring decent and hopes to reach his target of £2,000 for his home The Royal Hospital Chelsea and ABF The Soldiers Charity.

chelsea pensioner abseil triumphant
TRIUMPHANT: Tankie abseils to victory

He said: “I want to say a big thank you to everybody who has supported me and their generosity – it’s really appreciated.”

Mr Naylor said: “Monday was a tremendous fundraising event with dozens of abseilers braving the heights of The Big One at Blackpool Pleasure Beach and raising several thousands of pounds for ABF The Soldiers’ Charity.”

You can sponsor Tankie by clicking here.

Related Articles