Fans to visit 92 football grounds in 92 hours

This Is Wiltshire: Marc Harris Marc Harris

LIFELONG Swindon Town fan Marc Harris is attempting to visit the 92 Football League grounds across England and Wales in 92 hours to raise money for the world’s first children’s hospice.

Marc, 43, of Calstock Road, will travel with three friends he made as a travelling England supporter, raising money for Helen & Douglas Hospice, which cared for a child one of Marc’s companions knew.

Cris Bowden, 34, an Oxford United fan, Andy Price, 47, a Leicester City fan, and Steve Wells, 54, a Plymouth Argyle fan, will begin their quest in Leicester at 9am on April 9, the morning after a Leicester City match.

The quartet, armed with a free hire car from Enterprise, will then circulate the Midlands, before going to the north-east, north-west, Wales, Swindon, then London before heading west along the south coast and finishing in Plymouth at 9am, April 12.

Despite four short hotel-stays during the effort, the fundraisers are well aware they are likely to rub each other up the wrong way in such a confined space.

“There are four of us and we will do shifts in the driving seat. We will just drive while the others get a power nap,” said Marc. “We have to get out of the car at each ground and take a photo of ourselves there, so we might have to prop up one or two of us at some of them, but we will get there.

“If you look at the four teams we all support you can see the banter is quite amazing. We’ve all signed up to the fact we are going to hassle and get on each other’s nerves.”

Donations for the trek have already begun rolling in, with £1,000 already raised and more than 40 clubs in the Football League donating prizes for an auction on April 25.

The auction will take place in Basingstoke with Southampton legend Matt Le Tissier as master of ceremonies.

Marc works alongside former Swindon Town players Giuliano Grazioli and Alan Young, whilst a friend of his is a cousin of Chris Kamara – all our contacts which have proved vital in securing prizes such as footballs, signed shirts, corporate tickets and stadium tours.

The efforts are all being done in aid of a child friend Cris came to know through a next-door neighbour at his Hungerford home.

“Cris got quite close with the family he lived next to and he visited their child at the hospice and I think emotion took hold of him.

“He has always wanted to go around the football grounds of the country, but never had a real reason to do it until now.

“I try to do something for charity every year. I have gone without alcohol for a year and done eight hours of non-stop fitness in the past for charity, so this will be effort for the year.

“It seems to get more and more challenging each year. To do all of this in 92 hours will be tough.”

The group aims to raise £5,000 in their challenge. To make a donation, visit justgiving.com/Cris-Bowden.

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