Fund-raisers in 50-mile walk through the night

Jim Hobson, back left, Chris Harvey, Rebecca Ward, David Thompson, Eddie Ashton and Ryan Carroll
Jim Hobson, back left, Chris Harvey, Rebecca Ward, David Thompson, Eddie Ashton and Ryan Carroll

Four fund-raisers are celebrating after an epic 50-mile walk from Manchester to Blackpool.

The walk, from Old Trafford – home of Manchester United Football Club – to the Claremont Conservative Club, raised more than £2,000 for local patient care.

It was really muddy and the rain was pouring down, but we’re all so proud to have completed the walk

Members of the social club, on Westminster Road, walked through the night to reach Blackpool at 8am on July 2, having set off from Old Trafford at 3pm the previous day.

Their mammoth challenge was in aid of Blue Skies Hospitals Fund, the charity for Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

All the money raised will be spent on enhancing patient care across the Trust.

Walker Rebecca Ward said: “We were very tired and aching afterwards.

“It got particularly hard at around midnight, and when we had to walk through long stretches of just fields either side of us.”

Eddie Ashton, who is a Blue Skies Ambassador, said: “The whole reason why we are doing this is to raise money for patients who need it most, and that’s what kept us going for the entire walk.

“To be honest, we all felt like packing up. But we kept on going because we had to – we were doing it for such a great charity. The worst point was probably around midnight, and during a stretch of the A6 where our support driver, Jim Hobson, was three miles away so we just had to keep on going!

“It was really muddy and the rain was pouring down, but we’re all so proud to have completed the walk. We just didn’t let it beat us.”

The team’s research shows that the last time the walk was completed was in 1873 by three men, possibly making Rebecca the only woman to have completed the trek.

“I doubt there’ll be another one,” she said.

Donations are still welcome in support of the group’s marathon effort. Visit www.justgiving.com/Rebecca-Ward30.

Further fund-raising will take place on July 15 as Borders of Dawn play at the club. Doors open at 8.30pm.