A WORCESTERSHIRE man who joined two friends and took off on an eventful 6,000-mile journey across 14 countries has raised nearly £2,000 for a charity close to his heart.

Matt Eastwood, of Hadzor, near Droitwich, decided to drive a 20-year-old Citroen AX across two continents with friends Dave Anson and Phil Brookes to raise money for Cure Leukaemia after Mr Anson’s father died from the disease.

“All three of us wanted to do something very special in his memory,” said Mr Eastwood, who had to be flown back from their final destination after slipping a disc in his back. “We started in Bromsgrove and our nerves were high as we set off.

“The car was doing anything but fill us full of confidence. The first night was spent in a car park in the middle of Bruges.

“After stopping off in Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and at the Red Sea we headed to the Transfagarasan pass in Transylvania, Romania, and the steep winding roads were made a lot harder by the lack of power steering in our car.”

The team then moved on to Turkey and had planned to finish the trip in Iran but quickly discovered they could not take the car into the country.

They decided to accept Turkey was as far as they would get and were pleased with this decision when they heard an earthquake had hit the city they were heading towards.

“We came to the conclusion the best thing to do was drive all the way home,” said Mr Eastwood. “But when I slipped a disc I flew home and Dave faced the long and lonely drive home.”

So far the friends have raised just under £2,000. To support them text IRAN82 and the amount you would like to donate to 70070 or visit justgiving.com/iranrally.