A BLIND man has been told he cannot travel on a trip organised for handicapped people -- because he has too many disabilities.

Gary Shaw, aged 40, was given the all clear by his own GP to join the crew of a new tall ship called Tenacious.

But with just days before the craft was due to set sail, he was informed by the ship doctor that his ailments are too severe -- and he must now stay at home.

Mr Shaw has diabetes, blocked arteries and the nerves in his feet are dying. His diabetes brought on his blindness six years ago.

He was selected to sail on the Jubilee Sailing Trust's ship by the Rotary Club of Horwich.

The club has sponsored a place on the ship at a cost of £650 and believed Mr Shaw was an ideal candidate.

But the ship doctor said other members of the crew would not be able to cope with him if he became ill. The doctor said the sea could get rough and bring on seasickness.

But Mr Shaw said: "There are pills to deal with seasickness so I think it's just an excuse.

"I am gutted by this. It's a huge blow for me because I was so looking forward to the trip.

"Physically disabled people are being allowed to go and people with diabetes and angina are also being taken on. But now they've turned round and told me I can't go. I think it's disgusting."

Last year, Janet Bell, who is also blind, was sponsored by Horwich Rotary Club to sail in the Mediterranean on the Lord Nelson ship. The club repeated the scheme and Mr Shaw, of Wigan Road, Deane, was taken through the process of meeting the Mayor of Bolton, Cllr Alan Wilkinson, who congratulated him and wished him luck on his trip.

The ship sails on Sunday from Birkenhead and is due to arrive in Dublin on May 6, calling at Douglas in the Isle of Man en route.

The trip brings together able-boded and physically disabled people. More than 6,500 disabled people -- including 2,700 wheelchair users, have sailed on the trip since 1986.

The £14.5 million three-masted barque, Tenacious, is 65 metres long and has a beam of 10.5 metres.

There is capacity for 20 physically disabled crew including eight berths for wheelchair users.

Mr Shaw, who has no current need for a wheelchair but has had 22 operations in the last two years for diabetes, said: "I can walk and I can look after myself. I don't know where the ship doctor was coming from. Every disabled crew member gets a buddy to look after them anyway."

John Walkden, spokesman for the Horwich Rotary Club, said: "It appears the ship doctor has over-ruled Mr Shaw's own GP and we would have to abide by that decision.

"We are looking at the situation, and could possibly ask Mr Shaw's runner-up to take his place."