Walkers set off from Sir Bobby Robson statue for Hike4Hopey challenge
PUBLISHED: 17:13 18 April 2017 | UPDATED: 17:13 18 April 2017
Walkers taking part in a 333-mile feat from the Sir Bobby Robson statue in Ipswich to his statue in Newcastle set off from Portman Road this afternoon.
The challenge, named Hike4Hopey, is in honour Newcastle fan and firefighter Lee Hope, who died from cancer last year aged just 33.
The group is raising funds for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation.
Lee’s brother, Scott Hope, and his widow, Amy Richardson, are among the nine walkers undertaking the challenge.
Scott said: “I’ve done as much as 27 miles in training but day one is 32 miles.
“I’ve never walked that far so I am nervous about it.
“Lee was a bit of a larger than life character. He’d think we are genuinely crazy for doing this and not a sponsored pub crawl. I think he’d also be very proud.”
Lady Elsie, Sir Bobby Robson’s widow, met with the group before the Ipswich Town V Newcastle match on Monday to wish them well.
“We’re extremely proud of Amy, Scott and all of the walkers.
“Not only for taking on such a difficult challenge to raise funds for our Foundation, but for doing this so soon after losing Lee.
“Cancer is a cruel disease and never more so than when it takes someone young and full of life.
“Ipswich to Newcastle, and vice versa, is a journey I know extremely well. It’s a very long way and I can’t imagine doing it on foot.
“I wish all the walkers the very best of luck and hope the weather is kind to them.
“Every penny they raise will help us find more effective ways to detect and treat cancer and we’re grateful to everyone who is supporting them.”