A CRICKET coach who could have died after falling from a town centre roof and went on to complete three ‘iron man’ charity challenges has made it onto the Proud of Barnsley awards shortlist.
Former professional cricketer Chris Schofield, 43, can definitely be called an ‘iron man’ following his recovery from the injuries he suffered after falling 20 feet from an icy roof outside the town centre flat he lived in, in 2003.
Chris was found the next morning after spending the night unconscious on the ground, suffering from hypothermia - which he says saved his life by slowing his blood loss - a broken collarbone and ribs, and the injury to his brain.
The coach says he was a ‘lucky man’, and he’s since thrown himself into fundraising feats, such as the recent ‘iron man’ series of challenges he undertook in three days.
And due to his exceptional recovery and fundraising he has been shortlisted for the Triumph over Adversity award in the Chronicle’s annual Proud of Barnsley awards.
One such challenge consists of a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bike ride and a 26.2-mile run.
Chris, now of Doncaster Road, completed three of the challenges in three consecutive days.
“I started off cycling to Manvers and swimming with the early morning swimmers at 6am,” said Chris, who underwent ten months of training for the challenges.
“I’d get out of the water roughly an hour later and get on the bike to do 112 miles after the swim.
“I thought, I don’t care if it takes me 24 hours each day.
“My dad, wife and son helped me and refuelled me halfway. I managed a pint of Guinness in The Ash Inn in Wombwell - you wouldn’t see Mo Farah doing that.
“I was doing 14-hour days but I have to say I really enjoyed it and I didn’t get any injuries.
“I wasn’t expecting it, I thought it would be quite mentally challenging. I must’ve done everything right.”
Chris, who concedes it’s ‘not what many people would do with a few days off work’, did his first iron man challenge in 2015 and said he enjoyed the feeling of ‘getting really fit and strong’.
The former Yorkshire cricketer, who opened the batting for his county in his debut first-class match, also completed his first marathon in 2013.
“I started competing in running and outdoor events, and doing them quite comfortably,” he said.
“I read a book by James Lawrence, who is called the ‘Iron Cowboy’ because he did 50 iron man challenges in 50 days in 50 states.
“I had a few days off work, so I just decided to go for it.”
Chris finished his final challenge at Cawthorne Cricket Club, where he was met by wife Lisa, 43, son Joseph, ten, friends and family - and a paddling pool repurposed as an ice bath.
He raised more than £2,000 for Headway through donations, saying the charity does important work in raising awareness and helping those who live with the effects of brain injuries.
Chris added: “A lot of people don’t understand what you go through day-to-day.
“Part of my brain doesn’t work properly, so I have some difficulty with decision-making and concentration.
“That’s probably why I enjoy swimming and running. You’ve got to keep moving forward and don’t have to think about much else. You just put one foot in front of the other.”