Everyone has those moments, it’s late at night, usually in the AM and a thought or idea pops into your head. Now most of these ideas quickly fizzle out, but this one seemed to stick. A quick message to my friend Scott Johnstonand we were on Skype. “What’s up?” he asked. “I’m thinking of walking to Lille!”
Then begun about 30 minutes of jokingly planning routes and ideas, and how possible this would actually be. The more we spoke, the more it made sense, this could be done, and it would possibly be the most difficult and amazing thing I’d ever do.
Scott’s next question was “So, when are doing this?” that was his way of telling me he was in. Always good to have some company when you’re walking for potentially six days. Then after talking to some friends at work, both Lewis Skinner and Nick Crookes declared they were coming too. Once we mentioned Belgium it was only a matter of time till Chris Mayer got involved. A team was formed.
This is the plan. The five of us will walk from Sheffield to Hull, then hop on the ferry to Zeebruge, arrive in Belgium and walk down to France, arriving six days later at Lille’s new Grand Stade Lille Metropole. Lille are set to face Olympique Marseille on the weekend beginning the 13th of April. Most likely the game will be moved to the Sunday night, for the late TV kick-off. We plan to leave Sheffield on Sunday the 7th of April and arrive in Lille on Friday the 12th of April, barring any delays or emergencies.
As we are walking to watch a football game we have decided to use football grounds as points of reference. We will visit Sheffield Wednesday, Sheffield United, Rotherham United, Scunthorpe United, Doncaster Rovers, Hull City, Club Brugge, Cercle Brugge, SV Roeslare, KV Kortrijk, Royal Mouscron-Peruwelz, and Lille LOSC. The journey works out at around 127 miles, averaging around 20 miles a day.
The aim of the walk is to try and raise money for the MS society. The reason behind this decision was inspired by my father-in-law; he was recently diagnosed with MS and after only a few years he struggles with his mobility and coming to face with this first-hand really makes it hit home how difficult this can be for families affected by the disease.
Something like this can happen to anyone, and why not try to do something amazing for a great cause when you still have the ability to do so.
We would love as much support as possible, every single penny is gratefully received and I’ll see thank you now for anyone who donates to our walk.
The training has begun; personally I think the most I have ever walked in one day is five miles. Today marks the “250 days to go” mark. If I was to set off today, you’d probably find me in a ditch somewhere near Doncaster, this is going to be an epic journey, before we even start walking.
Please share this link as much as you can, we need all the publicity/help we can get.