A veteran of the Falklands War from Seaford is set to motorcycle more than 300 miles to raise money for Blind Veterans UK, the national charity for vision impaired ex-service men and women.
Eon Matthews, 55, will be tackling Blind Veterans UK’s first ever motorcycling event, Ride for Life Beyond Sight Loss, a 340-mile ride from Llandudno, North Wales, to Brighton.
Eon served in the Royal Navy for more than 20 years, during which time he served in the Falklands and sailed the last British military vessel out of Hong Kong after the territory was transferred to the Chinese. Eon also served in the Falklands War and was onboard HMS Glamorgan during the Battle of Two Sisters, one of the final battles of the conflict. During the battle, the Glamorgan sustained a direct hit from a land-based Exocet missile, which killed 14 British personnel.
Eon said, “I remember that day really vividly. I was in the ops room when the missile was fired and I could see it coming towards us. We were about 12 miles from land, but the missile hit us within eight seconds of being fired. After something like that, your first reaction is to pat your body down, make sure it’s OK and you’re all in one piece and then the training kicks in. The ship had started to turn over and there were fires all over the place, so we had to spring into action immediately.”
A keen motorcyclist, Eon is working with Blind Veterans UK to organise the event. He said, “There’s a huge ex-Forces community in motorcycling, primarily because there is this huge sense of camaraderie in both. I wanted to work with Blind Veterans UK to give bikers a chance to take part in a great rally and raise money to support those who have served our country. “Blind Veterans UK is a charity that is there for me and my former colleagues if we ever lose our sight, so I want to make sure I’m there for them.”