Ipswich: Four Axa colleagues are preparing for a whistle-stop tour of all 92 football league grounds which will end at Portman Road

IPSWICH: Four dedicated followers of football are today preparing to embark on a whistle-stop tour of the UK – visiting all 92 league clubs.

Colleagues John Murphy, 25, Dan King, 28, Tom Coe, 26 and 28-year-old Lee Whitmore, who all work at Axa in Ipswich, plan to start their journey at Norwich City’s Carrow Road stadium late on April 17.

Over the following four days, they expect to drive almost 2,500 miles and spend a total of 63 hours behind the wheel.

The final stop will be at Portman Road, in time for the Ipswich Town v Norwich City derby on Thursday, April 21.

And they hope their charity tour will raise �1,000 for the East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH) appeal.

“As we were coming into work one day, we were talking about all the grounds we’ve visited for away games and how the smaller clubs are often more interesting,” said Tom, of Lowry Way, Stowmarket.

“That’s how we came up with the idea to visit them all, and from there it snowballed.”

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The group will drive through Sunday night and all day on Monday, covering all of the football grounds in London, the south coast and Wales before stopping overnight at a Birmingham hotel.

Depending on how they progress, they might complete the tour without stopping again, sleeping in shifts.

“By the fourth day we will probably want to kill each other,” joked Tom. “So we’ll do whatever we need to do to keep ourselves amused.”

EACH runs three children’s hospices in East Anglia, and also provides home care for children with life-threatening illnesses across the eastern region.

For Dan, of Aster Road, Ipswich, the charity was an obvious choice.

“My dad passed away three-and-a-half years ago and he was always a big supporter,” he says.

“Instead of having flowers at his funeral, he requested that people give their money to the hospices instead.

“Because of that EACH has always been close to my heart.”

The charity needs to raise more than �4million in 2011 to continue its work, and the four fans hope to donate in excess of �1,000 in sponsorship money.

Donations can be made at www.justgiving.com/ITFC92In92.

n How far will you go for charity? Call the Evening Star newsdesk on 01473 324788 or alternatively you can send an e-mail to starnews@eveningstar.co.uk