We catch up with the Club's Chief Executive as he reflects on a gruelling Tuesday that saw the walkers cover an incredible 34 miles.
Hello and welcome to my Blog for Day Two – sorry it’s a little way through Day Three but I have to say it’s taken me some time to recover from what we went through on Tuesday.
We knew that Day Two was going to be the worst day – it was going to be 30 miles of walking which is a long distance obviously so we approached it knowing it was going to be a massive challenge. And so it proved.
We got up bright and early, and got a lovely welcome at York City and a fantastic donation of £3,000 from their Chairman Jason McGill, who then joined us on the walk too which was brilliant.
We were joined on the walk by Charlie Nicholas and his wife Claire who were both really nice. In fact, Claire became almost like my personal trainer for the day, keeping me going and helping me out when I needed it.
As I said in my blog about Day One, Chris Kamara turned up on Monday evening at our hotel in York shouting “Unbelievable, Jeff” at us and laughing. Then he turned up on Tuesday morning looking like he was going to a nightclub! He had a pair of jeans on with a smart shirt and jumper – I thought he was going on the pull! We asked him when he was going to get changed and he just laughed!
But to be fair to him, he walked the whole 34 miles dressed like that and was brilliant for keeping people’s spirits up. He was typical Kammy, always smiling, laughing and joking. I thought he must have kept jumping in the van and taking a break because we were all flagging but then every few miles he was come running up to us and shout “come on you beauty” – he was just super-charged and was brilliant for everyone.
We walked in to Tadcaster and there was a local butcher there who had made a special sausage for Jeff which was a lovely gesture and helped raised a smile and spirits as we walked on to Tadcaster Albion.
When we got to Taddy they gave us a cheque for £1,000 which is really good of them considering they have had some financial problems. It was really touching that they made the donation and it was appreciated by everyone.
After that I think we got to the outskirts of Leeds about four times. Then we lost half the party somewhere when they went a different way to us. At one point, Kammy said he knew a shortcut – and it proved to be 3km longer than the way other people went!
From Tadcaster to Leeds we walked through places I have never even heard of. I said to a few people last night, I am from Yorkshire, I am born and bred there – but yesterday evening I absolutely hated it!!
We didn’t arrive at our destination of Sky Bet in Leeds until 7pm but there was big consolation when they presented us with a cheque for £10,000 – that raised spirits in the group after a testing day.
We were all absolutely knackered and couldn’t really move but we still had to do another 1.5km to get across to Leeds United’s ground. The leader of the groups SatNav wasn’t working particularly well either and he started taking us back towards the City Centre! Thankfully, former Leeds Rhinos star Kevin Sinfield was with us in the group and he was able to lead us to Elland Road!
We finally got there at just after 7.30pm. That’s almost twelve hours on the go. So we got a quick massage and then got in a minibus for Doncaster to our hotel for the night.
I would say the high point of the day was being joined by the boys from RAF Leeming. They turned up in all the gear and really helped raise spirits and keep people on the move.
I always knew that the mental aspect of this challenge would be as important as the physical – and that has already been proved because Tuesday was so hard. Every muscle in your body seems ot be aching but then you know you’ve got to get up and do it all again the next day!
I actually got a lovely text from a guy I know at Accrington Stanley – he told me “it’s about the journey, not the destination” which was a nice thing to send. It’s one step at a time and we’ll keep on going.