Saints fans in 80 mile marathon to Wembley
Their boots were made for walking, and that’s just what 10 Southampton fans will do before the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy final in an 80 mile charity trek to see their team at Wembley.
To celebrate their club’s appearance in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy final on March 28, a group of fans will take to the road in a football-crazy idea which could raise £5,000.
Lifelong Saints fan Graham Harris came up with the energy sapping suggestion 12 months ago during a particularly barren run for h
After witnessing a miserable home defeat, Graham vowed to walk to Wembley Stadium to see Southampton play, not thinking they would ever get there again.
But being the funny old game that football is, his team enjoyed a renaissance this season and powered their way to the final of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy, meaning he had to be true to his word.
Graham and his nine friends will set-off from St Mary’s Stadium on Friday March 26 to Basingstoke, then from Basingstoke to Runnymede on Saturday, and a final push to Wembley on the morning of the big game. They are expected to arrive with 30 minutes to spare.
The Johnstone’s Paint Trophy has already agreed to give 10 tickets to the group to enjoy the final - when they eventually get there.
He hopes to raise £5,000 for the Everyman charity and will walk up to 30 miles per day with his friends.
Graham said: “I said I’d do this in 2009 when we were broke and were really struggling. It was a beer induced threat, but my son was with me and he was quick to remind me when we beat MK Dons to get to the final!
“A number of my friends have pledged to walk the route with me, and we are hoping to raise £5,000 for Everyman – a charity close to our hearts.
“Preparation has gone really well from a fundraising perspective. It is just the physical side of things I need to start working on now!”
Graham thanked the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy for its generosity in supplying tickets for the final, along with a match ball to keep as a souvenir.
He said arch rivals Portsmouth had done something similar when they got to the FA Cup final in 2008.
“Some Portsmouth fans did a similar trek and raised £4,000, so naturally, our target is £5,000 as we want to beat them!
“We have already got £300 in the bank and hope that all Saints fans will get behind us. It should be fun, if not a bit tiring.”
For more information about giving to Graham’s charity, go to everyman-campaign.org/index.shtml or give direct at www.justgiving.com/saintswembleywalk.
Johnstone’s. Bringing colour to the beautiful game.