Inspired by the loss of a close friend, Jeff Stelling triumphantly completed his fourth walking challenge for Prostate Cancer UK in London on Saturday, September 4 after setting off from Newcastle’s St James’ Park earlier this week.
The Sky Sports Soccer Saturday presenter has now racked up 33 walking marathons for the leading men’s health charity after finishing 26.2 miles in the North East, Yorkshire, Merseyside and London this week.
He has raised more than £230,000 this year taking his efforts since 2016 to almost £1.4m, which will fund lifesaving research to improve testing, treatments and care for those affected by the most common cancer in men.
Stelling’s 100-mile week began in the North East on Monday, August 30; he then headed to Yorkshire on August 31, before marching through Merseyside on September 1 then concluding his route in the capital with a walk from Millwall FC to Tottenham Hotspur, visiting Queens Park Rangers and Chelsea along the way.
Stelling said: “It’s hard to believe we began this journey five years ago at Hartlepool and now we’re here, 33 walking marathons down and with thousands of people, many who have been affected by prostate cancer in some way, marching with me.
“We’ve faced travel problems, getting lost, every type of weather and more blisters than I can count, but the togetherness that everyone on these marches has shown has been truly unbelievable - especially considering the effect the last 18 months has had on us all.
"Covid has had a horrific impact on lives across the UK, but prostate cancer has not gone away. In fact, it’s now more important than ever that we support men and their loved ones.”
During the week of walking, Stelling has been joined by friends and pundits along the way, including Chris Kamera, Charlie Nicholas, Colin Murray, Phil Thompson and Ian Rush.
Spurs served as a fitting finale on a day that Stelling paid tribute to club legend Ray Clemence, who sadly died last year after a long battle with prostate cancer.
Ray’s son Stephen walked alongside him on the Merseyside leg of the challenge with three generations of the family, including Ray’s wife Vee.
Stelling has visited 104 football clubs since departing Hartlepool United on his first march in 2016 and has visited clubs in all four UK nations, trekking 864 miles in the process.
Prostate Cancer UK Chief Executive Angela Culhane, who has walked more than 180 miles alongside Stelling across his previous three March for Men events, and joined him in the North East this year, added: “We want to see a world where men’s lives are not limited by prostate cancer and we know men and their loved ones feel the same.
"Together we can stop men dying, and we thank Jeff and the football community for helping us towards achieving that goal.”
To sponsor him, visit https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/jeffsmarch