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Sunday, 21 September 2014

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Raffle night for shot Cockermouth soldier raises £3,000

A fund-raising event for an injured Cockermouth soldier has raised nearly £3,000.

luke 1502
RECOVERING: Soldier Luke Reeson, who was injured in Afghanistan

Corporal Luke Reeson, 25, who served with the 1st Battalion, The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment, has been told he may never return to the army after he suffered serious injuries when shot four times serving in Afghanistan last November.

The event was organised by Sean Cusack, owner of the Castle Bar in Cockermouth.

It was held on Saturday and more than 100 people attended. A raffle was held and donations were taken.

In total, £2,816 was raised for Luke.

Mr Cusack said: “The whole pub was choc-a-bloc.

“People were buying tickets for the raffle right until the end and all of that added up. It was just great to see everybody supporting Luke.”

Luke suffered injuries while on an operation looking for enemy weapons with his team when they came under attack.

He was shot in both legs, a shin and his buttocks. He was immediately transported to Selly Oak Hospital, Birmingham, where he underwent five blood transfusions and six operations in three weeks, and he was released just before Christmas.

He is still in a wheelchair, uses crutches and is undergoing physiotherapy.

It is expected that it will take around two years for him to recover.

Luke had also broken his jaw while serving in Afghanistan in 2010 when a gunman’s bullet bounced off the floor onto his chest plate and into his cheek.

His plight has led to Cockermouth resident Terry Sawyer organising another event tonight at Sam’s Bar between 7pm and 11pm.

People will be asked for donations on the door and raffle tickets will be on sale with a first prize of £1,000.

There will be food and a voucher will be given out for a free drink.

Mr Sawyer, 70, of Etterby Close, said he wanted to organise the event after hearing of the former Keswick School pupil’s plight and because his grandson Lee Taylor is currently serving in Afghanistan in the army.

He added: “A lot of people in the town know Luke and I just wanted to do as much as I could to help.”

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