Brampton resident Malcolm Thompson is calling on football fans in the Huntingdon area to support his gruelling walking challenge for a special cause.
Thompson will walk more than 330 miles from Carlisle to Ipswich in September to raise funds for the Kevin Beattie Foundation, set up in memory of the former Ipswich Town star.
Beattie was born in Carlisle before settling in Suffolk, but sadly died of a suspected heart attack in September 2018 aged 64.
“It was a wish of Kevin that his name was able to help others and this is what we plan to do. The route spoke for itself,” said Thompson.
“Kevin was voted the best player to have worn the blue short of Ipswich Town and Sir Bobby Robson once described him as the best England player he had ever seen.”
The Kevin Beattie Foundation is a non-profit organisation that was founded to support various charities, big or small, and help by providing financial support from fundraising events.
Another goal is to raise awareness via advertising, their website and the events themselves and the Foundation has the blessing of the family and support from the Professional Footballers Association.
Thompson added: “Some of the charities we are already looking at are the NHS, The MS Society – because Kevin’s wife Maggie sadly suffers from this condition and he would have dearly wanted to support them as a thank you for all the help they have given Maggie – plus Motor Neurone Disease.
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“We will also be encouraging all local charities to contact us as we progress as we want to be able to support as many as we can when possible.”
An Evening with Jim Magliton and Matt Holland is also being planned for later in the year, as well as a charity match involving ex-Ipswich Town players and other professionals against a celebrity side and fans who are willing to pay to play.
But first comes the Carlisle to Ipswich walk and Thompson added: “We welcome any donations, no matter how small. Please visit www.sorefeet.live and pledge anything you can or you can send a payment direct to the bank which you can obtain by emailing email@example.com.
“The walk will be very hard and some of the walkways will be dangerous as there will not always be the suitable paths to walk on and so to complete this will take a lot of nerve as well as strength and will power.
“Support to date is fantastic as we have World Cup winners Ossie Ardilies and Ricky Villa, cricket legend Sir Ian Botham and various ex-Ipswich Town players.
“After the walk, we have An Evening with ex-manager and player Jim Magilton and ex-captain Matt Holland. Both will be very entertaining and they wanted to do this as Kevin meant a lot to both of these ex-Ipswich personnel.”
There will be a raffle and auction at that event, with various items already donated by clubs and players, as well as singer Olly Murs, comedian Micky Flanagan, snooker’s Steve Davis and cricket legend Sir Geoffrey Boycott.
“We have also had a coup in getting a signed donation by the Commander of the International Space Station Chris Hadfield, which is amazing,” said Thompson.
“This will all take place in October when the crowds are allowed back into grounds and will take place in Ipswich after a game. You don’t have to be an Ipswich Town fan to get involved as you can make bid at the auction and get a signed donation from your heroes.”
*For more details email firstname.lastname@example.org. If any companies would like an advert in the souvenir programme or to sponsor the walk or ‘Evening With’ events, get in touch as all help will be gratefully received.