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Lottery winner rescues blind pensioner with dementia from canal

Many lottery winners are known for their effort to help their local communities thrive – some do it by starting their own charity trusts, while others perform different acts of kindness. Alun Jones from Caerphilly is also one of them – two years after scooping a £1.100.000 prize, he made the headlines again when he saved a blind man with dementia, who got lost and fell in the canal.

The 80-year-old Neville Tyldesley was sent home in a taxi from the Manchester Royal Infirmary, even after his family repeatedly urged staff to phone them so they could collect him themselves. The vulnerable pensioner gave the driver his old address, and he got lost trying to find his way home and eventually fell in the Rochdale Canal. Jones spotted him while jogging nearby, dragged him from the freezing water and took him home to make sure he was well.

“I don’t consider myself lucky, someone has to win the lottery. But I suppose it was very fortunate to have rescued Neville as I almost didn’t go for a jog because it was a bank holiday. It’s weird how some things happen for a reason - if I hadn’t gone running something terrible could have happened,” said Jones.

The humble lotto millionaire eventually ran into friends of Tyldesley’s family who drove them to his daughter’s house. He spoke briefly to the family before heading off again and they were incredibly grateful for his help.

“If it wasn’t for him my dad could have been dead. It was Bank Holiday and the streets were so quiet - he might not have been found. My dad remembers the canal now, he says he would have been a ‘gonner’ without Alun” said Diane Brannan.

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