A SPORTY son is to spend his 20th birthday running the London Marathon in support of a charity close to his family’s heart.

Jack Mudd’s father, Andy, had both legs blown off by an IRA car bomb in Colchester in 1989 while serving in the Army.

He has been a member and trustee of the British Limbless Ex Service Men’s Association since leaving the forces in 1996.

A former warrant officer with the Royal Military Police, Andy lost his right leg from the hip and his left from just above the knee, as well as two fingers in the blast.

His wife, Maggie, who suffered superficial injuries and burns, died from breast cancer in 2004.

Since then, Andy has brought up Jack and his 17-year-old sister, Katy, on his own in their home in North Yorkshire.

Jack, who is studying international relations at the University of Leeds, decided he wanted to give something back to the charity which has helped his family.

He is to run the gruelling 26-mile challenge on April 22 – his 20th birthday.

Andy said: “Jack’s hoping to beat my time of four hours, 40 seconds, when I ran the Berlin Marathon in 1986 and is aiming for three hours and 20 minutes.

“I’m excited for him. Katy and I are going to cheer him on.”

Jack has been training since January. He said: “I play rugby and keep myself generally fit.

“But, as part of the training plan, I have to give up beer. so my studenthood will have to be put on hold!”

Of the association, Jacksaid: “It has been there to support dad and the best thing it has done is keep him active.

“Since mum’s death, the organisation have given him a role outside of being a dad to Katy and I.”

The charity has a residential home in Blackpool.

It also organises outings and activities and has a team of national welfare officers.

Jack has already raised more than £2,000 for his marathon venture. He is aiming ing for £5,000. To sponsor him, visit www.justgiving.com/Jack-Mudd