FAMILY and friends of a Baildon man who was paralysed from the waist down by a cycling accident are raising funds to help him and the charity that has supported him.

Passing motorists helped save the life of John Leather after he collided with a vehicle while out on a ride in Harden at the beginning of July.

But now the 50-year-old active triathlete, cyclist and walker has now been left confined to a wheelchair for the rest of his life after the life-changing accident.

His daughter Kate Leather said her father, his wife Lisa and the family were staying positive despite what had happened to him.

She said his ride on the day of the accident was typical of his routine.

"He was just going out for a cycle before going to bed."

He was then involved in a collision with a car, landing quite a distance away.

"People who stopped kept him alive, they kept him awake but he couldn't feel his feet," said Kate.


She said her father was taken to Leeds General Infirmary where they found he had lost feeling from just above his belly button.

"There's no chance he's going to recover. He won't be able to feel his legs for the rest of his life."

Kate said he had now been moved from LGI to Pinderfields Hospital in Wakefield where staff will be giving her dad two months of physiotherapy to help him recover.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: John on a climbing trip before his accidentJohn on a climbing trip before his accident

They hope he will eventually be able to look after himself a little and be able to get himself into a chair.

Mr Leather was an active outdoors sportsman before his accident and regularly took part in triathlons and went walking in the Lake District and elsewhere. He was a keen cyclist and was due to take part in the Prudential Ride London-Surrey Classic last weekend.

Now Kate has set up a Gofundme page to raise money for an all-terrain wheelchair that will enable her dad to get and about in the countryside and also to say thanks to the charities that have helped the family since the accident, particularly the Spinal Injuries Association (SIA).

She said on her Gofundme page: "As you can imagine his life and my family's life has been turned upside down.

"I would like to do something to support him and others who have experienced similar life-changing injuries.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: John Leather with his daughter Kate on Tryfan in SnowdoniaJohn Leather with his daughter Kate on Tryfan in Snowdonia

"I've set up this gofundme to help raise funds for an all-terrain wheelchair so my Dad can still do all the activities he loves such as hiking and exploring the countryside. The rest of the proceeds will go to the Spinal Injury Association.

"The SIA is a charity that supports anyone who has been touched by spinal cord injury, they work to enable people to live a fulfilling life after injury."

The SIA describe themselves as the expert voice and leading source of support and information to people with spinal cord injury, helping people with spinal cord injuries lead fulfilled lives.

Its peer support team, who all have personal experience of spinal cord injury (SCI), help newly-injured people from the moment of injury or diagnosis, through their rehabilitation and beyond. They also support those with longer established injuries.

Its telephone advice line helps people on a wide range of topics from access to specialist rehabilitation, to benefits information.

Kate said her fundraising had gone very well so far with a bake sale at her workplace and online donations so far raising £900.

She said she had been overwhelmed by the support of colleagues and friends.

The wheelchairs cost £3-5,000 and she is not expecting to raise enough for one but wanted to help her dad and other who had been through similar injuries.

Mr Leather is a factory supervisor in Kirklees for a firm who have pledged to help him back into work.

Kate added: "His boss has been amazing. They are making sure the factory is wheelchair accessible for when he gets back."

She said she did not think her dad would want to stop working but the priority was his recovery now.

To support the fundraising effort for Mr Leather and the SIA, visit

The SIA can be contacted at