FORMER soldier Alan Elliot is nursing king-sized bruises after walking more than 70 miles barefoot.

Alan took two days to complete the gruelling trek from Southampton to Brighton in aid of the Daily Echo-backed Help for Heroes.

After reaching his destination the 58-year-old care worker was promptly handed a pair of crutches.

Alan, of Bitterne, Southampton, was accompanied by Corporal Paul Fletcher, of the Princess of Wales Royal Regiment, also known as the Tigers, who was wearing shoes.

They set out from Southampton Cenotaph at 6am on Saturday and headed west through Fareham and Portsmouth, sticking to pavements and footpaths, before spending the night in Chichester and completing their 72-mile walk the following day.

Shortly after completing the challenge Alan admitted he could hardly walk.

He added: “I’m on crutches, which enables me to take the pressure off my bruised and damaged feet. I’m told they’ll take about a week to heal.

“But I hope to have raised about £5,000.”