Support for Men United March unbelievable, says Jeff
15:00 11 February 2016
Soccer Saturday presenter thanks footballing world for backing ahead of epic walk for Prostate Cancer UK
Jeff Stelling says the support he has receieved from the footballing world has been brilliant as he steps up his preparation for the Men United March in aid of Prostate Cancer UK.
The Soccer Saturday presenting will embark on the gruelling trek from March 21-30 as he tackles the 260-mile distance between his beloved Hartlepool United’s Victoria Park and Wembley Stadium, walking a marathon each day for 10 days.
You can support Stelling on his epic challenge by donating or joining him on the walk. Visit menunitedmarch.org for more information.
En route, he will be joined by famous friends and colleagues and people affected by prostate cancer having launched the Men United March live on Soccer Saturday at the end of a first person piece on the fortunes of his beloved Hartlepool, the first time he has ever filed a report for the show.
Carlsberg have signed up to support the challenge and their employees will raise money by joining Jeff on the eighth day of the route from Northampton, where the company’s headquarters is, to Milton Keynes.
It is the support from the footballing world that has touched Stelling the most and he is thankful for it, knowing that it will help get him through the tough challenge.
“The support I’ve received has been fantastic. We’re visitng over 30 clubs on route and there will be a lot in London at the end,” said Stelling.
“Even clubs who we aren’t visiting on the route haven been fantastic in lending their support. It’s been a real communal effort from everyone involved in football, from fans and clubs alike.
“I’ve had great support from everyone at Soccer Saturday and the likes of Matt Le Tissier, Paul Merson and Charlie Nicholas will be joining me on route, as well as some CEOs from football who I didn’t expect to get their walking boots out!
“When we started this, I suggested to the Hartelpool CEO Russ Green about doing some of it, and when he wanted to do all of it, I thought he meant the first stage, not the whole 260 miles!”
Stelling is no newcomer to fundraising activities, having helped out various charities by doing a variety of activities over the years.
But for Prostate Cancer UK, Stelling wanted to do something a bit different that would engage football fans, and he believes the Men United March does exaclty that.
“I have a few friends at Prostate Cancer UK who approached me about doing something and we had a couple of ideas in mind, like trekking the Great Wall of China or the Inca Trail,” he added.
“A few years back I had climbed Kilimanjaro with then Hartlepool manager Colin Cooper and assistant Craig Hignett (who is the new Pools boss) for the Finlay Cooper Trust which was set up after the tragic death of Colin’s son.
“I wanted to do something different this time, something that would strike a chord with fans and would be an achievement if we did it.
“Hartlepool have never been to Wembley, so I thought if the team aren’t going I could. When we saw the distance was 260 miles, we thought we could do it in 10 days, walk a marathon a day and that would be the challenge.”
As for how his training is going, Stelling remains relaxed that his current regime will help get gim through the 10 days of the Men United March.
“I’m a pretty fit person in general. I take my two dogs our for an hour or so a day and I do a bit of jogging too. I do some football coaching as well so my preparation is decent.
“But with loads of people joining in from fans and pundits to CEOs, I’m hoping that it doesn’t feel like I’m doing a marathon a day.”