A BLIND man from Silsden has completed the Manchester Marathon.

Richard Thompson, 54, who also has epilepsy, took part in the event yesterday. (April 2)

He was accompanied and guided during the run by his friend Mike Spence, 52, a landscape architect who lives in Utley, Keighley.

Mr Thompson works as a masseur but also volunteers every Wednesday at Ilkley's Outside the Box Cafe, a community cafe which supports adults with a learning disability and helps them lead more independent lives.

By taking part in the marathon he and Mr Spence have raised nearly £2,000 worth of sponsorship cash for Outside the Box.

Mr Thompson, who has lived in Silsden for more than 30 years and has been blind since 1982, said he was "elated" to have completed the marathon.

"It went really well," he added. "The weather was fantastic, the people of Manchester were cheering us and we couldn't have asked for better conditions.

"The longest distance I'd done before was 18 miles, and I was very proud of what we'd achieved, especially as neither of us would have described ourselves as runners.

"Mike was very good and full of spirit. He wanted to high-five all the spectators who were cheering us on!"