When he saw the age of the plane, wannabe wingwalker Ricky Cawdron did a double-take – it was a 90-year-old biplane.

But after a quick briefing on what to expect and how to breathe, the 38-year-old plasterer was up and away, enjoying one of the biggest thrills of his life to raise money for Bowel & Cancer Research.

“It was absolutely amazing,” he said.

There I was flying at 170mph. I could see the Thames, Canary Wharf, The Shard, the QE2 Bridge. I wanted to loop-the-loop.

His wife Kate and their two children, Sonny, 8, and Sienna, 5, were cheering him along with friends.

The kids were a bit scared at first. But once I was up, they were jumping up and down and waving.

"They think I’m a Superhero – wingwalking, raising £1,000 and curing cancer all in one go,” said Ricky.

Ricky, from Hemel Hempstead decided to sign up for the charity stunt after several relatives succumbed to cancer. 

“Enough is enough of this disease,” said the dad-of-two.

Ricky’s own dad, Roy, died of bowel cancer in 1999 leaving Ricky, then aged 18, to help bring up his two younger brothers. Their parents were no longer together.

His mum Haysell Sturman died in 2016, and his father-in-law Gary Smith died last autumn, also of bowel cancer.

“I had a close bond with Gary – even though I’m a Tottenham fan and he supported Newcastle!,” said Ricky.

He was like a dad to me. It took alot for me to look up to anyone again after my own dad passed away but he filled that position with ease.

“We had many things in common, especially table tennis which Gary thought he was good at until he met his match! We spent many evenings playing until the sun went down.”

Ricky himself suffers from ulcerative colitis which is why Bowel & Cancer Research was his chosen charity.

“I think my Dad would be absolutely in shock and I hope he’d be proud. He looked after us three boys on his own for all those years. He was a brilliant dad. All of the people I’ve lost would be proud.”

Chief Executive of Bowel & Cancer Research Deborah Gilbert thanked Ricky for his support. “We are sorry to hear that Ricky has lost so many relatives to cancer.

Our aim is to ensure that no one should die of bowel cancer in future and we can only do that with the help of our fantastic fundraisers like Ricky.

Anyone who wants to support Ricky can do so at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ricky-cawdron