A group of Stevenage football fans are to walk more than 60 miles over three days in a bid to raise £10,000 in memory of Mitchell Cole.
The team of 11 are to walk from Oxford United’s Kassam Stadium to The Lamex Stadium in time for Boro's first home game of the new season against Oldham on Saturday 3rd August. They are planning to wear shirts from each of the 11 clubs that Mitchell played for along with his squad number.
Mitchell, who died aged 27 from cardiomyopathy at the end of last year, played for the club between 2007 and 2010 and scored in the first competitive final at the new Wembley Stadium - his goal helping them lift the FA Trophy for the very first time.
He then moved on to Oxford United where he had to retire from professional football in 2011 because of his heart condition.
Walk co-organiser Lucy Cox, a 31-year-old housewife and mum of two (aged 2 and three months) from Potton in Bedfordshire said: “We are taking on this epic challenge to fundraise and raise awareness of cardiomyopathy which sadly claimed Mitchell’s life last year.
“I myself have a heart condition and a young family like Mitchell so I found his story even more personal to me.”
After Mitchell retired he became am ambassador for the Cardiomyopathy Association, a charity that provides information and support to affected families. In that role he helped the charity raise awareness of cardiomyopathy and the work of the charity.
Lucy, who has been a Stevenage fan for 19 years, said: “I am keen to continue raising awareness as Mitchell did. I was misdiagnosed and treated for epilepsy for five years before it was discovered I actually had a heart condition.”
Joining Lucy on the walk, which will set off from Oxford on August 1st, will be fellow Stevenage fans Liam Govey (who came up with the idea for the walk), ex-Stevenage player Neil Trebble, Craig Atkinson, Terry Peacock, Adam Elkins, Joshua Devereux, Simon Leon and Kieran Pepper.
The group got together through the fans forum (www.borochat.co.uk) and are all raising money for the Cardiomyopathy Association.
They expect the walk to take around 18 hours, spread over three days and sleeping in tents at night. The route will take them around Aylesbury on the first day and through Luton on the second. They are hoping to collect donations on route.
Back in May the club hosted the Mitchell Cole benefit game which raised just over £20,000 for the charity. A further £1,000 was donated directly to the CMA on behalf of the Supporters Association and our shirt sponsors STS Tyres.
For more information about cardiomyopathy, see the Cardiomyopathy Association website at www.cardiomyopathy.org or call the helpline on 0800 0181 024.