A well-known Lincoln strongman took on his biggest ever challenge when he hooked up with 19-tonne, 70-year-old ‘Just Jane’ – dressed as the Hulk.
Personal trainer and passionate fundraiser Dave Johnson hauled one of the country’s last remaining Lancaster Bombers along the runway at the Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre at East Kirkby on Monday, August 31.
Famed for his strongman charity events, Dave, green with adrenaline, strapped himself with ropes to the aircraft, using all his might to pull the plane using an anchored rope.
The event was organised to raise funds for a number of causes close to the bodybuilder’s heart.
The most recent of which is Amazing Aiden’s Fund, a collection set up to help six-year-old Aiden Byrne, who was born with half a heart, no spleen and many organs out of place.
In less than a year, Aiden has undergone six operations and almost lost his life. Dave, touched by his journey to recovery, is doing all he can to help him make new memories, and a number of events so far have already helped fund a specialised pushchair.
With the help of Lincoln Wrestling Academy, he’s also recently had the opportunity to fulfil his dream of wrestling in the ring.
In fact, Dave’s new green look is thanks to Aiden’s ‘favourite superhero’ request.
Dave explained the idea for the event came about in 2010 when friend Mark Browne found out he had terminal cancer. The pair were both fans of ‘strongest man’ events, and arranged a vintage fire truck pull to raise awareness of cancer.
A joke made at the time about pulling a plane has now become a reality, and Dave has spent many weeks training for the challenge in Mark’s memory, after he sadly passed away.
Those wishing to donate to Macmillan Support through Dave’s JustGiving page can do so here.
The event falls in the same month as the 70th anniversary of VJ Day. Dave wanted to commemorate the end of WWII with the pull and said: “It’s in memory of all those who fight their own war daily with cancer, those who won, lost and those who will never surrender to it.”
Another local hero who inspired fundraising was Ethan Maull, who sadly lost his battle with cancer in 2014. People can donate to the Ethan Maul ‘Up Yours to Cancer’ Foundation through Dave’s JustGiving page here.
A segment of the money raised will also go to the Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire Air Ambulance Trust.