Sight loss OAP takes the wheel

A pensioner who was forced to give up his driving licence due to sight problems has been given the chance to drive an Aston Martin super car.

Brian Goodall, from Wakefield, was diagnosed with age-related macular degeneration (AMD) 13 months ago and it eventually led to the loss of his central vision.

The 83-year-old thought he would never drive again - until his daughter Kirsty nominated him for a supercar driving day organised by national sight loss charity The Macular Society.

He was able to get behind the wheel of an Aston Martin - helped by an instructor with dual controls -and was given the freedom of the track in North Oxfordshire.

The event was organised to raise awareness of the condition.

Mr Goodall said: “It was a fascinating and really enjoyable experience to drive a car with phenomenal acceleration.

“I have never driven a car with that sort of power. It handles beautifully. I’ve driven a lot of cars in my time but that really was the icing on the cake. My daughter signed me up because she knows I have always had that interest in fast cars.”

AMD affects the central vision and is the most common cause of sight loss in the UK, affecting more than 600,000 people. More people are affected as the population ages and those in the advanced stages cannot read, drive or recognise faces.

Mr Goodall is a member of the Wakefield Support Group, one of the Macular Society’s 300 support groups across the UK.

The group meets from 1pm to 3pm on the first Tuesday of every month at the Cathedral Centre, Westmorland Street.

He said: “I really look forward to the meetings. They’re really helpful and we try and help each other.

“It’s about passing information member to member and supporting people by saying all is not lost.”

The Macular Society is the national charity for anyone affected by central vision loss. It provides free information and support to help improve patients’ lives and ensure no one has to face macular degeneration alone.

The society also funds research to find a cure for the condition.

Visit www.macularsociety.org for more information.

For more details about the Wakefield Support Group, call 0300 3030 111.