State of Mind Co-founder Ernie Benbow (front in picture above) is fundraising to raise money for Cancer Research UK, please donate if you can

In memory of Vincent Clarke; Lesley Clarke; Brian, Margaret & John Benbow; Alan Bradshaw; Geoff Floyd.

I lost a sister-in-law, Lesley, within the last year to myeloma and a sporting memories group friend Alan (a truly great Man United fan) who was suffering from cancer. A brother-in-law, Tony, has just been diagnosed with prostate cancer; the husband of one of our Sporting Memories group is having treatment for cancer; another one of our group has just been diagnosed with prostate cancer.

My dad in law, Vincent Clarke, was lost to cancer whilst another brother-in-law is in remission from Hodgkin’s lymphoma. My mam and dad lost a baby (2-week-old Brian) to kidney cancer before I was born, that was after losing twins (Margaret 5 months & John 3 months) 2 years before to whooping cough and bronchial pneumonia.

I wanted to do a walking challenge that had a sporting theme rather than commit to the 10000 steps a day challenge. So, I’m challenging myself to complete a walk I’ve entitled ‘The Football League Founders Walk’. The Football League was formed in April 1888 and comprised 12 clubs. My virtual walk will take me from the iconic Villa Park stadium, home of Aston Villa, to the 11 other founder clubs finishing at Goodison Park where the mighty blues of Everton play.

Circumstances obviously dictate that I can’t actually walk the route, so my walking will be done in and around my home village of Rainhill on Merseyside and wherever I get the chance to get steps in on a daily basis. The only exception will be at the end when I plan to walk the final element of the walk from my home to Goodison Park a total of 10.3 miles or 19509 steps. The whole walk covers 243.8 miles or 461,782 steps.

I am a volunteer with the magnificent, award winning Everton in the Community Foundation and a season ticket holder at Everton FC along with my son and other family members. It will be a fitting end goal for me to walk the last leg from home to Goodison.

It would be fantastic if people felt able to join me (socially distanced, of course) on at least part of that final leg.

The virtual itinerary is as follows;
Aston Villa to West Bromwich Albion 3.6 miles 6819 steps
West Bromwich Albion to Wolverhampton Wanderers 9.9 miles 18752 steps
Wolverhampton Wanderers to Notts County 55.4 miles 104933 steps
Notts County to Derby County 15.6 miles 29548 steps
Derby County to Stoke FC 33.2 miles 62884 steps
Stoke FC to Burnley 62.6 miles 118571 steps
Burnley FC to Accrington FC 6.9 miles 13069 steps
Accrington FC to Blackburn Rovers 6.6 miles 12501 steps
Blackburn Rovers to Preston North End 10.6 miles 20077 steps
Preston North End to Bolton Wanderers 16.5 miles 31253 steps
Bolton Wanderers to Everton 22.9 miles 43375 steps

I hope the fans of the original clubs (accepting that Accrington Stanley are a different club to Accrington FC) will support my walk for funds for Cancer Research UK. I would hope that each club might donate a shirt each prior to the final phase of my walk to allow them to be auctioned to raise and add more to funds for the walk to handover to Cancer Research UK.

In keeping with the founder’s club walk theme, I have set a fund target based on some stats from that very first season where 587 goals were scored by the 12 teams; 264 points were accumulated by the teams. 288 games played. 294 players made appearances with 36 officials each week; a total of £1481 which I’ve rounded to £1500. I think we can beat that target though!

I do the walk for all of my family and friends named and in doing so want to raise much needed funds for the Cancer Research UK. I know we are all going through terrible times but please donate whatever you can.
Thank you for visiting my Fundraising Page. The money I raise will help fund life-saving research and to bring forward the day when all cancers are cured.