A ‘SAXON warrior’ has completed a 300 mile march from Stamford Bridge to Hastings wearing full armour to support men’s mental health and combat suicide.

Lewis Kirkbride's epic journey echoed the famous events of 1066, when King Harold had to defend his kingdom by first defeating a Viking army near York on September 25 and then marching south in 20 days to face the Norman invaders at the south coast on October 14.

Lewis, from Durham, has raised more than £17,000 during his walk.

When he set off from near York last month he told The Press: “Like the battles of 1066, mental health problems can invade your life and attack from all sides.

“We do our best to fight, but putting on a brave face every day takes a lot of energy – a bit like heavy armour weighing down on our shoulders every step of the way.”

Lewis, who had hoped to raise £10,660 for a men’s mental health peer support organisation called ManHealth, hopes his epic 20-day medieval challenge will inspire other men to get talking.

“Men still aren’t asking for help or talking when they need to,” he said.

“It can feel like we are alone with nowhere to turn when mental health services and communities around us are struggling to support these men – but I want to show that people are willing to listen. Nobody needs to suffer in silence.”

“Organisations like ManHealth are so important at a time when suicide is the biggest killer in men under 50. People looked at me and saw a healthy young man with a job, a home, a wife and a happy family…but I was losing my own battle with depression and anxiety.

“My hobbies in medieval combat gave me an important link to my sense of self and to other people, but I wish I’d got talking about my mental health much sooner.”

To support Lewis’ fundraising, go to www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/1066battlewalk.