Bob takes on London Marathon challenge for charity close to his heart

A retired naval architect who suffered a severe brain injury in a cycling accident will take on the Virtual London Marathon to raise cash for a cause close to his heart.

Bob Collins’ life changed in the blink of an eye when he was knocked from his bike after colliding with a car on his weekly Saturday morning bike ride.

The accident, which happened in 2018, left him with permanent brain damage which will impact him for the rest of his life.

But, dad-of-three Bob, 52, from Paisley, is now determined to raise money for the Brain Injury Rehabilitation Trust (BIRT), which helped him on his road to recovery at Graham Anderson House, in Glasgow.

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He plans to take on the gruelling virtual London Marathon walking all 26.2miles with wife Lynda for a cause that means so much to him.

Former Paisley Rugby Club coach Bob said: “I sustained a severe brain injury from a cycling accident in 2018 when a car pulled out in front of me during my normal Saturday morning cycle with a friend.

“We were heading down from the reservoir from Barrhead when the car hit us both.

“My mate ended up with broken bones, but I was very seriously injured.

“The helicopter came within 15 minutes to help me and I ended up spending two weeks in the RAH learning to walk again.

“My everyday life has been profoundly effected and I will always have issues with things like my memory and concentration because the injury is permanent.”

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He also fractured his back in the accident.

Bob added: “Vital to my recovery has been the specialised treatment provided by Graham Anderson House, which is one of a nationwide network of rehabilitation centres provided by BIRT for people like me with an acquired brain injury.

“Their personalised and intensive rehabilitation program improved my cognitive ability and gave me strategies to manage my condition.

“They also helped me and my family to understand the injury and its effects. Graham Anderson House set me firmly on the right track to maximise my recovery.

“Words I never thought I’d say, but then 2020 is also not a normal year. Because this year’s London Marathon is virtual, I have the opportunity to do it. So, along with my wife Lynda, I will be walking 26.2 miles from our home in Paisley tomorrow.

“I am asking for your support once again, this time to consider sponsoring me for the virtual 2020 London Marathon.”

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Bob, who worked for BAE Systems designing naval warships for the UK, Canada and Australia, is urging anyone who can help to give generously as he looks to collect £2,000 for the organisation that helped him in his hour of need.

He said: “My life changed forever in a split second on that day in 2018.

“If it can happen to me, it can happen to anyone, so I would love to help BIRT to continue to fund rehabilitation and support for people with acquired brain injuries who need it now and in the future.”

To donate to Bob’s fundraiser, visit

Daily Record – Paisley