Seven Kings man whose legs were “black and blue” after operation taking on swimming challenge

Colin Stringer, 52 with all his swimming hats

Colin Stringer, 52 with all his swimming hats - Credit: Archant

A man whose legs “looked like they had been hit with a hammer 100 times” after operations is preparing to race through open water in a swimming challenge.

Colin Stringer, 52, will be donning his wetsuit in June for the Great East Swim.

He was forced to give up running after being diagnosed with bilateral varus knee deformities and is set to undertake the one-mile swim after switching to the new sport.

Hard work

His participation comes less than a year after his most recent operation to treat his condition, which had caused a bowlegged appearance.

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Colin, of Lansdowne Road, Seven Kings, said: “I am not a natural swimmer; it is hard work that has got me to this level.

“I will obviously get nervous on the day, but I am looking forward to the challenge.”

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Colin took up swimming in 2011 after being diagnosed with his condition, which had been painful and made it difficult to walk.

He had been competing in running events for more than 30 years.

Colin had to undergo two operations to have his legs broken, realigned and fixed with metal plates and screws.

He had surgery on his left leg in September 2012 and his right in April 2013.

He said: “I was black and blue. I was on crutches for three months each time and then had to have physio and gym sessions.

“My legs hurt a little, but they are fine now. I was told I might have to have a knee replacement in 15 years, but I don’t want to worry about that yet.”

Colin, who first competed in the challenge in Alton Water, Suffolk, in 2011, added: “I would love to beat my personal best [about 27 minutes], but I would just be happy to do it in under 30.

“Swimming is something I have come to enjoy.”

For more information on Great Swim events, visit

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