13 September 2019
Source: RNIB Scotland
Being registered blind isn’t stopping David Clarke from walking 24 miles as part of the Edinburgh Kiltwalk this Sunday [15 September 2019].
Nor did it stop him pursuing a highly successful 24-year career in the banking sector, working for HSBC, Royal Bank of Scotland and Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank – or an international football career in which he represented Great Britain and England’s blind football team 144 times, for which he was their highest goal-scorer with a total of 128 goals.
‘I have Glaucoma and no longer now have any useful vision,’ says David (48). ‘In my early years I could see light and colours but this had faded away by the time I was around seven or eight years old.
‘But I am known to my friends as the king of underestimation – I never let myself admit how hard things such as the Kiltwalk will be. I love to test myself and take on endurance events which are a challenge, with or without sight loss.’
Now director of services for national sight loss charity RNIB, David is doing the Kiltwalk’s Mighty Stride this Sunday with colleagues Matt Stringer, chief executive of RNIB, James Adams, director of RNIB Scotland.
Originally from Wigan, David lives with his wife and two children in Hertfordshire. He played football in eight European Championships, five World Championships and three Paralympics culminating in the London 2012 Paralympic Games.
He was five times a European Championships “Golden Boot” winner and five times European Championships Silver Medallist. He has been inducted in to the National Football Museum Hall of Fame and recognised with a Life Time Achievement Award at the 2013 England Football Awards Ceremony. He is also a director of the British Paralympic Association.
Doing the Edinburgh Kiltwalk is just the latest in an endeavour to prove that people with sight loss can achieve, given the right support.
‘I am hugely grateful to everyone who is taking part in the Kiltwalk and supporting the urgent and essential work of charities such as RNIB,’ says David. ‘RNIB is determined to create a world where there are no barriers stopping blind and partially sighted people living the life they wish to lead, and funds raised through the Kiltwalk will support these efforts.’
Altogether, almost 60 walkers are supporting RNIB across all three Kiltwalk options on Sunday. They include 14 staff from Aberdeen Standard Investments joining David on the Mighty Stride, four people from the Department of Work and Pensions in Edinburgh doing the 14.5-mile Big Stroll, and two staff from RBS doing the five-mile Wee Wander.
Meanwhile, nine staff from Sainsbury’s Bank have also volunteered to act as guides on the Wee Wander for those taking part with sight loss.
* You can support David in raising money for RNIB Talking Books at https://edinburghkiltwalk2019.everydayhero.com/uk/david-2