Former rugby player tests metal hip on 77-mile charity trek

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A FORMER rugby player has put his new metal hip to the test on a 77-mile hike in aid of a children’s charity.

Company director Simon Martin, 44, walked the Weardale Way, from Roker to Killhope in Upper Weardale.

Simon received a hip transplant in 2008, following years of receiving physical batterings as a back row forward with Durham City rugby union club.

Simon said: “I won’t say it was easy, but I didn’t intend it to be.

“I deliberately chose to hike the more difficult direction, from the sea at Sunderland up into Weardale, which is mainly uphill.

“The last four miles, from Cowshill to Killhope, were the steepest and by that time I had already walked more than 70 miles,” added Simon.

He had previously read an article where experts called for metal-on-metal hip implants to be banned after they found evidence of high failure rates.

“I told my surgeon what I planned to do to see whether my hip would stand the test and I am pleased to say that it performed well. I thought it was a good way of giving it a thorough try-out.”

Simon raised £24,000 for Tabitha’s Toys, which loans sensory equipment to families with disabled children.