Derby 74-year-old takes on two mammoth challenges for Rainbows

A 74-year-old walker is scaling Everest Base Camp and then walking the length of the UK in back to back challenges to raise money for Rainbows.

On March 19, Tony Haslam, will fly to Nepal to begin his 5,364 metre climb on one of the world’s most iconic mountains. Five weeks after completing that challenge, his walking boots are back on as he journeys 1,200 miles from John O’Groats to Land’s End.

He aims to finish the trek within three months and will celebrate his 75th birthday while walking in Cornwall.

Retired long distance lorry driver Tony said: “Everest Base Camp is something that has always been on my bucket list since I was a lad. I am getting old and it is now time for me to do it.

“I have always done a lot of walking. I do 12 miles on a regular basis and I have been walking uphill at the gym for three hours at a time.”

Annually, Tony and his friends from Footloose Walking Group, take on a 92 mile trek in different parts of the country. The ritual began in 2019 when Tony, who is a Derby County fan, and his friend, Dave Bradbury, who is a Nottingham Forest fan, walked along the Trent and Mersey Canal.

Last year, the group walked along the same canal and raised £5,300 for our charity.

“I wanted to raise money for Rainbows again as it is such a fabulous cause,” said Tony. “Anything I can do to help is a pleasure and I am very grateful to everyone who has sponsored me and is supporting me.

“I did ask if any of the other walkers wanted to join me and they politely said no!”

In between his two challenges, Tony will have a much earned rest and spend time with his partner, Jane.

Gary Farnfield, Rainbows Community Fundraiser, added: “What Tony is taking on is truly amazing. He is testing himself with two incredible challenges and we wish him all the best for both.

“At Rainbows, we rely on our fundraisers to enable us to provide the essential services to hundreds of children and young people with life-limited illnesses. Thank you so much to Tony and everyone who is supporting him.”

To sponsor Tony, visit