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Latest adventure for thrill-seeking Ilkley Grandma

Valerie Appleton with a photo of her wing walk

To celebrate her 80th birthday this year, Daredevil Valerie Appleton from Ilkley will be abseiling from the East Stand of the famous Elland Road stadium, the home of Leeds United.

This adventure is the latest in a series of high adrenaline activities that Valerie has undertaken in recent years which have included two sky dives, hot air ballooning and ziplining off the Cow and Calf in Ilkley.

And Valerie made the news last year when she took on the audacious challenge of wing walking atop a Boeing Stearman biplane at Church Fenton, Leeds East Airfield. This had been on her bucket list since she was a small girl and in doing so she was able to raise £2,500 for the LS29 Special Needs Support Group, an Ilkley based charity supporting families of children and young people with special needs.

Her latest epic challenge at Elland Road takes place on 1st July and is in aid of Yorkshire Cat Rescue; the Haworth-based charity which responds to the urgent need to provide a safe haven for the many abandoned cats and kittens across a massive area of 700 square miles.

As Valerie says: “I’ve always been a bit of a daredevil and I’ve always loved cats, so this abseiling challenge for Yorkshire Cat Rescue ticks both boxes and is a great way to celebrate my 80th birthday.

“I know I’m supposed to be slowing down as I get older, but I won’t let that happen. In my head I’m still 21, and there’s no such word as ‘can’t’. You need to try new things that may be out of your comfort zone and keep pushing your own boundaries. And above all, just enjoy life and keep laughing as that really does keep you young.

“I’m really looking forward to my latest adventure, and despite being a life-long Manchester City supporter, I’m excited about abseiling at the famous home of Leeds United. I’ve got lots of friends and family members coming to support me, and my son and family in Australia and my daughter and family in Texas have sponsored me and wish me a fun day.”

To donate to Valerie’s fundraising challenge, visit and search for Valerie Appleton.


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