Footie fundraisers' new challenge

A TEAM of fundraisers who hold a world record for the longest football tour are today preparing for a new challenge.

A TEAM of fundraisers who hold a world record for the longest football tour are today preparing for a new challenge.

Four years ago, the former university friends won a Guinness gong after playing teams in 15 countries across Europe and north Africa over a 45-day period.

Some of group, including Ipswich-based organiser Sam Broadley, also completed a gruelling challenge last year when they visited 138 football stadiums across England, Scotland and Northern Ireland in 138 hours - with just 18 minutes to spare.

Having had time to catch their breath, the group are now warming up for a ten-day football expedition to India in October.


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Mr Broadley, an ex-Kesgrave High School pupil, said: “The plan is to play one of India's top clubs in Mumbai, then travel to Goa to play a club there.

“Then we're off to an unconfirmed destination, but it will be somewhere remote and random where we'll play against a local village team.

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“The clubs we are playing against are not confirmed, but we are very confident in our pulling power. After all, on our 2004 tour, we bagged Raja Casablanca of Morocco, the Man Utd of Africa!”

The lads raised thousands of pounds for the Bobby Moore Fund for Cancer Research UK and The Royal Marsden Cancer Hospital during their exploits last year, but they are undecided on who will benefit this time round.

Mr Broadley, 28, said: “We are thinking along the lines of a charity which encourages socially deprived youths into the game of football and/or other sports.”

Looking further ahead, the ambitious amateur footballers are also trying to pull off a tour across America, culminating in a match against David Beckham's LA Galaxy.

If you would like to sponsor the group, please call Mr Broadley on 07793 108382.

Are you planning a charity event? Write to Your Letters, The Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

AN Ipswich Town supporter today told of his delight after completing a gruelling charity challenge to visit 22 Scottish football grounds in 48 hours.

Daniel Gooch managed to reach every stadium in the top two divisions of the Scottish league in just two days.

His epic adventure started at Victoria Park, the home of Ross County in the north of the country, and concluded at Palmerston Park in Dumfries - the home of Queen of the South.

Incredibly, the 23-year-old made it to every ground by train. The challenge also involved him walking more than 50 miles - the distance of two marathons.

Daniel, of Rushbury Close, Ipswich, said: “The trains were not as much of a worry as I thought they would be - but I hadn't realised how much walking would be involved.

“Livingstone's ground was two-and-a-half miles away from the station but I didn't want to get taxis so I walked.

“I was feeling quite ill by the end of the second night because I had gone 22 hours without eating a thing.

“It was quite draining but I was delighted to finish - I didn't think I would.”

Daniel, who graduated from Nottingham University last year and is due to take up a position with Deloitte in Reading in September, took on the task to raise money for charity Spirit of Soccer.

The organisation educates children around the world about the dangers of mines and other explosives left behind in war, while simultaneously providing them with FIFA-endorsed football coaching.

He said: “I know that football has the ability to do lots of good in the world and this charity does that.”

If you would like to contribute to Daniel's sponsorship fund, visit www.justgiving.com/danielgooch

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