MALMESBURY resident and former Scotland rugby captain Mike Biggar has been named a finalist in the Amplifon Awards For Brave Britons 2020.
Wheelchair-bound Mike, 70, who has raised almost £80,000 for the NHS during the Covid-19 pandemic, has reached the finals of the Celebrity Hero category in global hearing specialist Amplifon’s search for ‘The Best of British’.
Inspired by Captain Tom, Mike, a lawyer who was badly injured in a car crash in 1992, set himself a target to take 100 steps with the help of hand rails and raise £10,000 – he has now walked more than 1,000 steps raising an amazing £77,000.
His son George, also a lawyer and keen sportsman, said: “It was very much a case of my dad saying of Captain Tom ‘if that old fella can do it at his age so can I!
“He felt if he didn’t try to do it then he would never achieve it so off he went. It is typical of my dad.
“When he played rugby he was always described as being tough and tenacious and that’s what he has shown during the coronavirus crisis.”
Capped 24 times for Scotland between 1975 and 1980, Mike escaped death while driving home from work one evening when his car was in collision with a wagon almost 30 years ago. He suffered multiple injuries including brain damage.
He was in a coma for eight weeks and was under medical care in and out of hospital for more than a year as he learned to walk and talk again. In the last 10 years he has been forced into a wheelchair.
And as the coronavirus crisis began he was rushed into hospital with suspected kidney failure from which he has recovered.
Son George said: “My dad believes he owes the NHS a lot and sees what he is doing as someway of saying thanks to everyone involved. The money he raises goes to the NHS Charity Together and what he would like to see happening is for patients to be provided with iPads and things so that they can keep in touch with their families who aren’t allowed to visit during the present crisis.”
Mike has been invited to the virtual awards presentation on Tuesday, October 13, when Radio 5 Live breakfast presenter Rachel Burden will host the event, and Falklands War hero Simon Weston will be guest of honour.