AN ABERGAVENNY man is celebrating his 86th birthday on Monday by walking up Pen y Fan on crutches to raise money for Ty Hafan.

Ian Waddell, who turns 86 on March 4, has severe osteoarthritis and can't walk without two crutches.

But he loves the outdoors and doesn't want to become a person who stays at home and watches TV all day because of his condition.

Mr Waddell has done a fair few walks and other challenges for charity over the years and founded the Dragon's Back ultra - now known as one of the best in the world - in 1992.

He said: "I thought I better do something because it was my birthday.

Free Press Series: Ian Waddell is all set to climb Pen y Fan at the end of March

"I will be doing it solo but there will be people with me as back up because of my illness. I want to raise as much as I possibly can for Ty Hafan. They do a fantastic job.

"The people they help aren't going to reach my age, they aren't going to have anything like the length of life I have had."

Mr Waddell will be starting his walk at 6am from the Storey Arms and will be joined by some local supporters from Abergavenny.

He said coming down the mountain, which is the highest peak in South Wales, would be "interesting" because of his crutches.

Mr Waddell, who has had a hip and knee replacement, also has heart failure in the last few years, but he said: "I've had a good innings!"

Free Press Series: Former Parachute Regiment Soldier Ian Waddell, 76, of Abergavenny, has raised more than 200k for charity over the past 30 years. He is setting off from Abergavenny on a non stop walking challenge of 60 miles in 40 hours. Ian pictured out walking in

Back in 2019, for his 81st birthday, Mr Waddell took on the South Wales Three Peaks Trial, again in aid of Ty Hafan.

He said at the time: “I’ve done this kind of thing for 40-odd years since I left the army.

"I’m not an armchair person. I had a new hip and knee three years ago, and at my 80th birthday party I said it was silly I’d been laid up for nearly two years.

"When you start to know what’s on daytime TV, you’re in trouble.”

He said: “People have accepted the fact I’m a bit of an oddball, but I’ve always been active and I will be until the end.”