A FORMER soldier is hoping to keep a cool head during next month’s Pennine 10k — as he seeks to complete the race with a fridge strapped to his back.

Paul Tunstill, who served in Afghanistan with the Royal Military Police, will carry the 30kg chiller through the streets of Burnley to raise money for Pendleside Hospice.

The 37-year-old, who lives in Casterton Avenue, chose the Reedley-based charity after it cared for his grandad Harry, who died four years ago.

Mr Tunstill, who has suffered hearing loss since a bullet missed his ear by an inch when a colleague was shot on patrol in Afghanistan, was medically discharged from the army last year.

He initially wanted to run the race in full military uniform complete with a Bergen rucksack, but was warned against it following the murder of Drummer Lee Rigby in Woolwich last May.

Mr Tunstill, who now works as a home care support worker, said: “The idea to carry a fridge actually came from a lady with cancer who I care for.

“She said she had seen someone doing the London Marathon carrying a washing machine and challenged me to do something similar.

“You wouldn’t believe how hard it is to find an unwanted fridge.

“I eventually saw one in someone’s driveway and explained what I was doing and they were kind enough to give it to me.

“The pain of carrying it and the weight I can deal with — you build up a resistance — but it’s so rigid that the movement, the way it wobbles from side to side, is the most difficult aspect.”

The former Edge End High School, Nelson, pupil will be joined along the route by his fiancée, Carley Baron, 35, who will carry a bucket for donations.

He said: “Carley did her first 10k last year and I basically dragged her around but this year I think she might be carrying me.”

To donate to Mr Tunstill’s cause, visit www.justgiving.com/Paul-Tunstill1.