Injured soldier Phil Packer completes 2,012-mile trek

  • 18 December 2012
  • From the section London
Phil Packer and TV chef Brian Turner
Image caption Phil Packer met TV chef Brian Turner earlier

An ex-Army major who lost the use of his legs in a rocket attack in Iraq has completed his year-long challenge to walk 2,012 miles around Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Phil Packer's injuries are so bad that he said walking six miles was his equivalent to doing a marathon.

Since his spinal injury in 2008 he has also rowed the English Channel and walked the London Marathon.

He finished his latest challenge in east London at about 14:00 GMT.

His aim has been to raise £15m to build a centre for young people.

Mr Packer who has walked in every county and unitary authority in the UK, finished in Canary Wharf.

The fundraiser said his feat was equivalent to about 310 marathons in 331 days, and admitted it had "taken its toll".

He told BBC Radio 5 live he was feeling "a bit sore".

'Remarkable year'

"Physically it's been a slog, it's been tough. I've overcooked it on certain days and weeks and paid the cost."

But, he added: "It's been one of the most remarkable years I've ever had."

A year after he was injured in a rocket attack he defied his doctors by walking the course of the London Marathon.

It took him 13 days and he raised £500,000 for charity Help for Heroes.

Young people

The aim of his UK trek is to raise funds for the British Inspiration Trust (BRIT), a charity which supports people aged 16 to 25 suffering "post-trauma".

He explained: "It doesn't matter what the disability, medical condition or situation is, it's for young people who face such a dark time that they can't see a way out."

The aim is to build a centre where young people can come and be mentored by inspirational figures.

Those who have volunteered their time include Sir Ranulph Fiennes, Sir Richard Branson, Sally Gunnell, Eamonn Holmes, Jamie Oliver and the Chief of the Defence Staff, General Sir David Richards.

Mr Packer said he had met many young people along the way and was "really staggered" at the extent of how hard it was for them at the moment.

Mr Packer has received many awards. He was made an MBE and he received the Helen Rollason Award at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year.

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