Former motorcycle stunt man Eddie Kidd donated trainers to Shoe Aid at the Maypole Inn at Wellow
Former motorcycle stunt ace Eddie Kidd has donated a unique pair of trainers that could provide a great leap forward for Shoe Aid, a charity founded by Nottinghamshire campaigner Lee Todd.
Eddie handed over the trainers after signing them in gold lettering at the Maypole Inn at Wellow. He combined the presentation with a visit to see his mother, Marjorie, 82, who lives in the village.
Eddie’s most famous stunts include a leap over the Great Wall of China and being stunt double for two James Bonds — Timothy Dalton and Pierce Brosnan — as well as doubling for Michael Caine and Roger Moore in Bullseye and performing a 90mph, 120ft leap over a railway cutting while doubling for Harrison Ford in the movie Hanover Street.
But Eddie’s career was cut short in 1996 when, having completed 12,000 successful jumps, he was knocked out on landing after a 45ft leap at an event in Warwickshire. His motorbike careered out of control over a steep embankment, leaving Eddie grievously injured.
He now uses a wheelchair and communicates through his partner, Billie Mobayed, and his dedicated long-term carer, Mike Parker.
But Eddie left the wheelchair behind to complete “his greatest stunt yet” — walking the London Marathon route in 2012 with the aid of a specially-designed frame made by his former motorcycle mechanic, Chas Sanders. It took him 50 days to walk the course, and ever since he has been looking to find a worthy charity to donate the shoes to.
When Lee Todd made contact with Eddie via networking website Linked In, the charity and the trainers proved a perfect match.
On receiving the shoes, Lee told Eddie: “I just want to say this touches my heart, and I really appreciate what you’re doing for our charity. You are such a legend, and I can’t put into words what you are doing for us.”
Lee is planning to put the shoes into an auction of celebrity footwear to raise money and create publicity for the charity, founded in Nottingham in 2010.
Plans are also afoot to organise a sponsored walk with Eddie around the Emirates Stadium, home to his beloved Arsenal Football Club, to mark his 60th birthday in June.
“He is fully behind Shoe Aid and wants to be an ambassador for us,” said Lee. Eddie has already got Callum Best to sign a pair of shoes for the charity, which is now based in Derbyshire.
“Eddie has a load of celebrity friends so hopefully we can raise the profile of Shoe Aid and get lots of celebrities involved,” Lee said.
Lee runs Shoe Aid as a volunteer, taking no salary, and is looking for support from schools, businesses and any workplace where they are willing to collect donated shoes.
In Newark, Bishop Alexander Primary School staged a campaign for the charity, collecting 25 bags of shoes to help tsunami survivors in 2015.
“I originally set up Shoe Aid in 2010 to help people in Third World countries and disaster zones,” said Lee. “We sent just under a million shoes to the British Virgin Islands after Hurricane Irma in 2017, but then we discovered research showing that four million children in Britain wear ill-fitting shoes and 55,000 homeless people are wearing shoes that are not fit for purpose. Now we also work with homeless charities and disadvantaged families in the UK.”
Eddie’s partner Billieis an old flame who rekindled their romance after returning from 12 years in Dubai.
“He was my first boyfriend when I was very young, so we started our lives together — and now we’re going to end them together,” she said.
Eddie speaks with considerable difficulty since his accident but he has retained a keen sense of humour and a mischievous streak. Shaking hands as we introduced ourselves, I told Eddie it was a privilege to meet him. He answered with a big grin and two words: “I know.”