AERIAL ace Tom Lackey has narrowly missed out on the title of Sound Barrier Star of the Year.
The prestigious awards recognise extraordinary achievements in the deaf or hard of hearing and the daredevil, one of five national finalists, finished a deserving runner-up.
Over the years, the Shirley pensioner has raising more than £1 million for charity and completed over 20 wingwalks.
The five finalists were interviewed by a panel of judges including actress Stephanie Beacham, Julie Perkins from Specsavers, Judy Cogan from The People newspaper and Jenny Smith from Hearing Dogs for Deaf People.
“It was inspiring to meet Tom and all the other finalists - they all have such fabulous stories and are all winners,” said Stephanie, who has overcome hearing loss herself.
In the end Adam Wilson from East Grinstead was named Sound Barrier Star of the Year 2009 for his work raising deaf awareness.
Tom said: “I had a great time at the final and it was a real pleasure to meet Stephanie. There were some very inspirational people with fascinating stories, making it a very tough competition.”
Tom was nominated by Stephen Spencer, from the Solihull’s Specsavers hearing centre, who said: “Tom is one of a kind and I had no hesitation in nominating him for this award. He has done such tremendous work for charity since his wife died and his wing walking achievements are spectacular.”