Football challenge helps Niamh’s Next Step

The Four Stadium Challenge for Niamh's Next Step

The Four Stadium Challenge for Niamh's Next Step

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A team of football fans beat fatigue and the traffic to visit the international stadiums of England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales inside 24 hours.

The journey for Simon Cox, Chris Curry, Anthony Foreman, Malcolm Blackburn and Phil Goulding started from the Bobby Moore statue at Wembley at 7pm on Wednesday before heading north to Hampden Park in Glasgow.

They then took a ferry ride to Belfast to visit Windsor Park before flying to the Millennium Stadium in Wales.

Not only did the team complete it inside their 24-hour target, they were actually back at Wembley Stadium in 23 hours and 23 minutes.

Simon said: “It was amazing. We were all up from 6am or 7am on Wednesday morning and I doubt any one of us got any sleep until probably 10pm on Thursday night.

“It was long but we avoided all potential hurdles that could go wrong. We had some great fun and we really got to know each other.”

While the drive to Hampden Park in the dark was long and the section of the journey on the London Underground was packed with commuters, the aerial leg saw the pilot reading out a special message to the team which resulted in interest from passengers about the challenge and the reasons behind it.

A taxi driver in Belfast also donated £20 after hearing about the fundraiser while taking the team to their next destination.

Simon added: “We knew on paper we could get back around 6.30pm and we actually did at 6.23pm.”

Inspiration behind challenge

The driving force behind the Four Stadium Challenge was the memory of five-year-old Niamh Curry.

More than £1,600 has already been raised by the fundraiser for Niamh’s Next Step, the Wellingborough-based charity run by Sam and Chris Curry after losing their daughter Niamh to childhood cancer neuroblastoma in May 2012.

Her parents wanted to continue raising cash and awareness about neuroblastoma after her death as a lasting legacy to Niamh.

Simon said: “There was no rest but when you think about what these people go through with neuroblastoma, it’s nothing compared to what they face.”

Donations can still be made via www.fourstadiumchallenge.co.uk.

Raising awareness en route

Niamh’s dad Chris Curry, of Wellingborough, was part of the Four Stadium Challenge team.

He said: “It was great. To get into the stadiums that we did and raise awareness and money throughout the 24 hours was fantastic.

It was a long 24 hours, but we put the world to rights on the drive up to Scotland. We really appreciate Simon pulling it all together to organise the event and for Malcolm, Phil and Anthony being part of the team.”