Some friends go a long way for each other but two people took it to a new level when they raised £25,000 so their tetraplegic best mate could see the world in comfort.
Friends of horse racing mad Ivan Newton-Edwards of Birch Court, Aylesbury, helped raise the money to buy him a new van with an altered floor so he can see outside.
Previously he had to make do with a van with no air conditioning and where he had to sit at the back with no windows.
James Kelly, who met Mr Newton-Edwards at the National Spinal Injuries Centre when he too was paralysed 33 years ago, said: “It’s fabulous, it does exactly what it says on the tin.
“He’s never had the best of luck and he’s never complained about anything.
“It will be the first time we have been able to travel in the same vehicle together.
“We thought he needed a new van. I think he deserves it after 35 years in a chair.”
Mr Newton-Edwards was left paralysed as a 20 year old when driving his friends home from football. All three of his friends walked away with only minor injuries.
Mr Kelly and Mr Newton-Edwards thought of the idea for the van five years ago and got another close friend, former jockey and Channel 4 Racing commentator Brough Scott involved.
Together they managed to raise the money through a mix of contributors over 18 months.
Mr Kelly added: “We thought we can probably do this if we put enough into it. It was very slow and very tough going.”
Mr Newton-Edwards said he wrote to Mr Scott asking for a bit of help and was delighted to see his long time friend help.
The former jockey said of the new van’s unveiling: “It was one of the nicest days I’ve ever had in my life. It was just super.
“He can actually see out the front now. One of the first things he’s going to do is travel to London and see the lights, it’s one of those things in the car you take for granted.”
Mr Kelly did add there was a cheeky alterior motive for Mr Newton-Edwards’ wish for a new van though as he is a big fan of the ladies.
“He said to me, ‘I can look down at girls now and see what I have been looking up at all this time’.”