Saturday, April 13, 2024

March of the Day: Former players join fight against MND with long distance walk

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 22 Mar 2024

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Former footballers Marcus Stewart and Stephen Darby are holding one of the biggest fundraising events for the Darby Rimmer MND Foundation to raise awareness for motor neurone disease.

A core team of 16 former players will take on the ‘March of the Day’ trek, which starts at the University of Bradford Stadium and will travel more than 175 miles over two-and-a-half days.

The walk starts today and takes in 17 football grounds across West Yorkshire and the north-west, including Elland Road, the Etihad Stadium, Old Trafford and Goodison Park, before finishing at Anfield on Sunday evening.

Walkers will be wearing blue T-shirts in support of Stewart for the first part of the walk to Bolton and will then change into red T-shirts with Darby’s name on the back for the rest of the walk.

Stewart who used to play for Bristol Rovers, Huddersfield, Ipswich and Sunderland was diagnosed with MND in September 2022 while former Bradford, Bolton and Liverpool defender Darby was told he had the condition four years earlier in 2018.

More than 50 former players will join Stewart and Darby in support of the Darby Rimmer Foundation, including Chris Kirkland, Paul Scholes, Dominic Matteo, Jill Scott and Phil Parkinson – Darby’s former manager at Bradford.

The world of sport has been united in raising awareness for MND over recent years, with former rugby league player Kevin Sinfield completing an ultra-marathon challenge in December.

The event – called 7 in 7 in 7, with Sinfield running seven ultra-marathons in seven days in seven cities – raised more than £630,000 and was inspired by his former Leeds Rhinos team-mate Rob Burrow, who was also diagnosed with the condition in 2019.

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