From Luton to Pamplona – plus bath

Hatters fan Richard Bennett with the car he will drive to Spain
Hatters fan Richard Bennett with the car he will drive to Spain

Ask Hatters fan Richard Bennett why he’s going to the famous Pamplona Bull Run in Spain with a bath strapped to the top of his car and his reaction may surprise you.

He wells up momentarily, apologises, clears his throat and finally says it’s to raise money for a young lad with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, a condition which causes progressive muscle wasting.

“He’s called Kian, he’s four and I’d do anything for him,” he says.

It’s the first time self-employed washing machine salesman Richard, 48, of Swiftsgreen Road in Stopsley has ever tackled a charity challenge.

He was looking for a fundraising idea when he had a eureka moment in a motorway loo.

“There was a poster on the back of the door advertising Rally Maniacs and I decided to sign up there and then,” he grinned.

The concept is simple – buy a car for less than £600, primp it up and you’re good to go.

Richard, with friend and co-driver Billy Purcell, sets off next month – alongside similar-minded rally maniacs – for Pamplona via Germany, Switzerland, Italy and France before finishing up in Spain just before the Bull Run which starts on July 6.

He’s dollied up an old 1998 VW Passat with 225,000 miles on the clock and he’s reassured that he and his fellow drivers will be accompanied by a breakdown waggon – “and a film crew,” he said.

“Being a lifelong LTFC fan, I’ve painted my banger orange, blue and white.

“I’ve covered it in squares and have been selling space to companies at £50 a pop.”

LA Interiors have paid £800 for their advertising which is wrapped around a bath – complete with taps – on the car roof. EJM Builders and Wigmore Flooring put up £500 apiece for the bonnet and back window respectively with MJG Installations forking out a similar amount for the side windows.

“I’ve already raised more than £5,000 and I intend raffling the car when I get back – if it makes it,” Richard quipped.

The former Rotheram High pupil is adamant that all the money will go to Kian.

“I don’t care whether it’s used for a motorised wheelchair or a trip to Disneyland or whatever,” he said.

“And if someone comes up with a miracle drug that’s only available in another country, I’d want him to be able to have it with no money worries for his family.”

> If you’d like to help Richard help Kian call 07875 400778. For more information on rally maniacs, go to