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Fans hit the road to Hillsborough to raise funds for Gethin appeal

7 October 2021

Lifelong Wanderers fans Andy Bowling and Joe Cooke will be putting in the hard yards to reach Sheffield Wednesday and raise funds for two good causes.

The pair – members of Bolton Wanderers Remembrance Group – are doing a sponsored walk to Hillsborough to watch Saturday’s game against Wanderers.

Money raised from the 52-mile trek will go towards BWRG’s efforts to buy a minibus to support their work and to the appeal set up by Wanderers' defender Gethin Jones in aid of his mum’s fight against Motor Neurone Disease.

Jones was at the University of Bolton Stadium on Thursday morning to wish the walkers well and send them on their way for the journey which will involve overnight stays at Ashton under Lyne and Stocksbridge.

“It’s a great effort by them,” said Jones.

“We are really grateful for their support and all the fans who have rallied around since we launched our own appeal following mum’s diagnosis.

“I hope the walk goes well and we can reward them with a good result when they get to Sheffield Wednesday.”

Andy – a BWRG ambassador – previously took part in a charity trek from Bolton to Port Vale.

And the 37-year-old was happy to put his walking boots on again.

“I am looking forward to proving a few people wrong by doing it,” said Andy, who runs his own groundworks business.

“We want to get a mini-bus to help with what we do and then when we saw the news about Gethin we wanted to support that as well.

“I don’t think this would have happened before but with what Sharon Brittan is doing at the club it’s encouraging everyone else to get involved.”

Joe is Bolton born and bred but flew in from his home in Albania to do the walk and watch Wanderers and has already had pledges of £4,000 to complete the cross-county route.

The 60-year-old recently broke four ribs but set off undeterred.

“Alan Mather (BWRG founder) asked me to get involved and I couldn’t say ‘no’,” added Joe.

“I do a lot of walking so I said I’d do it and we’re going to raise as much money as we can.”

Anyone wishing to sponsor the walkers can do so via a Just Giving page set up by BWRG via the following link tinyurl.com/bwfcrg

The Jones family launched their own Just Giving page after Gethin’s mum Karen, 56, was diagnosed with MND in July.

Funds raised will cover costs for treatment in the United States and future care – as well as research into MND through the Darby Rimmer Foundation, co-founded by former Bolton defender Stephen Darby.


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