May 26, 2016 by Kay Byrne
UPDATE: Neil Cunningham passed away earlier this week after a six year battle with motor neurone disease. Many tributes have been paid to the former James Bond and Top Gear stunt driver who worked tirelessly to raise awareness of his condition and raise funds to find a cure. The gig at the Ostreme in Mumbles on May 13, organised by the Mumbles Ale House, has so far raised more than £4,000 for the cause.
THE bravery of a former Top Gear and James Bond stuntman has inspired a local licensee to fundraise for the disease that ended his career.
Neil Cunningham, who lives in West Cross, performed daredevil driving stunts for the BBC motoring show and also appeared in the Bond movie Quantum of Solace before Motor Neurone Disease forced him to quit in his late-40s.
His stunts won him fans all over the globe, but his bravery in coping with the muscle wasting disease and raising funds to find a cure has won him even more admirers.
Among them are Rod Undy and Karen McGeoch, licensees of the Mumbles Ale House, who are staging a mini beer festival and evening of live music at the Ostreme Centre in Mumbles on Friday, May 13 to raise money for research into Motor Neurone Disease.
“I met Neil at a book launch and his story inspired us to raise awareness about Motor Neurone,” said Rod. “He has had the disease for a few years now and has just written a book about his life story.”
Neil, who is originally from New Zealand, has always denied claims that he also acted as ‘The Stig’ on Top Gear during his racing career, although rumours persist!
He told a New Zealand newspaper: “I will get better. I want to go back to racing cars. I’m going to return to New Zealand and go sit on the beach with my kids. That’s the plan.”
The event at the Ostreme Hall will feature ten beers and live music from The Bog Trotters, The Mudskippers and Siwan.
It starts at 7pm and will go on until midnight. Entry is £10 and tickets are available from The Mumbles Ale House on Dunns Lane, Gower Gallery and Gower Getaways, both on Newton Road, Mumbles.
All tickets will be entered into a prize draw for seven nights in a Gower Getaways VW camper van.