In September this year, Bolton Wanderers’ player Stephen Darby, was forced to retire from football at the age of 29, having been diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease.
MND is a rare neurological condition that causes the degeneration of the cells and nerves in the brain and spinal cord which control the muscles in our bodies. It can affect how you walk, talk, eat, drink, breathe and all things we take for granted. MND is life-shortening and there is currently no cure. In short, it’s a real bastard of a disease and a tough battle for all those affected by it.
I thought I’d do a little something to raise awareness of the disease and raise a bit of money along the way to support Darbs and the Motor Neurone Disease Association in the fantastic work that they do. They are the only national charity in England, Wales and Northern Ireland focused on MND care, research and campaigning.
As portrayed in the Octagon Theatre’s production of ‘And Did Those Feet’, in 1923, a local newsagent set off from Bolton to walk to Wembley to watch Bolton Wanderers lift the FA Cup in what was forever to be remembered as the ‘White Horse’ final. Some 95 years on, I will be attempting to follow in his footsteps and walk to London to raise awareness and support all those affected by MND.
Now I know what you’re thinking, Bolton will not be playing at Wembley anytime soon, but we will be playing Brentford which is just seven miles away so that’s close enough for me.
This Saturday, the mighty Whites will be hosting Leeds United at the University of Bolton Stadium, a team who Bolton beat 3-1 on the way to their 1923 cup glory. At the final whistle, I will set off with the aim to reach Griffin Park by 3pm the following Saturday 22nd December, where Bolton will take on Brentford FC in their next Championship game.
It’s a distance of just over 200 miles on foot and if I say it quickly it doesn’t seem so bad. I’ll be going to the Derby v Forest game too on 17th December as I’m passing through so will see if Fraaaank wants a chat about our last victory and that celebration with Darbs and Nooney. Seems bloomin’ ages ago now that.
Anyways….if you would like to support me, Darbs and MNDA please donate what you can via the link below and share on your social media lavishly.
I’ll be posting daily updates on my twitter page @Dave_C__with a few pics and the like, so please drop by and follow my wanderings.
Thanks a million to all those who have donated already and for all the kind messages of support.
Here’s to a thumping 3-1 victory at the weekend to send me on my way COYWM
Merry Christmas one and all.