WFFW5 at Barnet April 2012

WFFW5 at Barnet April 2012

Setting off tomorrow (Thursday) on a fundraising 40+ miles walk in the greater London area. It’s called Walk Further for Wimbledon 6 as it is the sixth year such a trek has been undertaken. For me, it is my third year of involvement, having started in April 2011. The idea is to raise funds for our supporter-owned football club AFC Wimbledon and a charity of the walker’s choice. This time any funds for the soccer club will be channelled into a new Community Fund.

JustGiving - Sponsor me now!My choice of a separate charity is Diabetes UK (NI) via Belfast Lions Club. In February the Club heard from a representative of the group at its monthly meeting in the Wellington Park Hotel. Nearly 76,000 people in Northern Ireland have a health problem related to diabetes. If you wish to make a donation, please do so through my JustGiving page and if you are a UK taxpayer you can add Gift Aid automatically.

WFFW5 leaving Kingsmeadow

WFFW5 leaving Kingsmeadow

I am flying from Belfast International early in the morning and hoped to join the group of walkers about two miles into the walk near Malden Manor station. They will be setting off from the AFC Wimbledon ground at Kingsmeadow, Norbiton but I will not be able to join them in time for a 9am start, so will pick up the trail about half an hour later, as I did at the O2 in Greenwich two years ago.

Some of the walk is along the London Loop, part of which we walked last year on the way to the match at Underhill in Barnet. This year’s destination is Gillingham FC. A full house of around 11,500 is expected at Priestfield, including 1133 Dons’ fans. Gillingham have already won the title but AFC Wimbledon are dangerously close to the relegation zone as their first season (back) in the Football League comes to an end, with only this game and one home game on Saturday week remaining. Last year I raised £442 and £72 Gift Aid for the Lions International Korle Bu eyesight project in Ghana and I would like to thank once again those who donated so generously. In 2011 my participation in the same walk (which took me past HMS Belfast on the River Thames) raised over £200 for another charity supported by Lions, St Dunstan’s, now known as Blind Veterans UK.

WFFW4 at Kingsmeadow 2011

WFFW4 at Kingsmeadow 2011

DAY ONE of the walk (Thursday) is the longest section from Kingsmeadow to Whyteleafe, around 19 miles, ending with a hilly section around Kenley airfield. Created by dwarfer77

Walk further for Wimbledon 6, Day 1

Walk further for Wimbledon 6, Day 1  19.2 miles / 30.9 km

Walk further for Wimbledon 6, Day 2

Walk further for Wimbledon 6, Day 2  15.4 miles / 24.8 km


Day 1: departing from Kingsmeadow

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED! I undertook to walk 60 miles (one for each of my 60 years) to fundraise for charities. In Dublin I took part in the Milltown 25 walk, marking the exile of Shamrock Rovers FC from Glenmalure Park at Milltown quarter of a century ago. The 6 mile (10k) walk was to the new stadium at Tallaght. Back in Belfast, I completed another 5 miles by walking from home into town and back as part of my preparation for the major challenge. As a founder member of the Dons Trust (supporting AFC Wimbledon) I participated in the fifth Walk Further for Wimbledon. This year the route on the London outer orbital path  covered 50 miles over three days, starting at Kingsmeadow and finishing at Underhill, North London, in time to watch the league 2 match between Barnet (who had just dismissed former Dons’ FA Cup hero Lawrie Sanchez as manager) and AFC Wimbledon. Last year’s walk finished at Kingsmeadow in time for the final match of the season (40 miles over two days) but this time it ended at an away game.

Arriving at Underhill

What was even more painful after the walk was completed was to watch AFC Wimbledon being thumped by the Bees 4-0!  As a member of Belfast Lions Club I am also fundraising for the Moorfields Lions Korle Bu eyesight project in Ghana, a trust chaired by Past International Director Lion Howard Lee. The walk began on Thursday 26th April at 9:15 am and finished on Saturday 28th around 1:15pm. Thanks to my fellow walkers for the company on most of the route and for lending a helping hand when needed. I am also grateful to those who have already made donations via my JustGiving page.