A Kettering football fanatic has completed a mammoth challenge of visiting every football league stadium in just four days.
Simon Cox, 39, of Bonham Court, was part of a group of four friends aiming to visit all 92 stadiums, plus Wembley, in the time between the national team’s games on Friday night and Tuesday night.
They arrived two hours before England kicked off against Poland on Tuesday.
Between them, the quartet travelled 2,600 miles and hope to have raised a huge total for Help for Heroes in doing so.
During the trip the friends took penalties at Bradford City’s Valley Parade and Northampton Town’s Sixfields, among others, had a kickabout with Ray Stubbs at Wycombe Wanderers’ Adams Park and had tours around Aston Villa’s Villa Park and Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium.
Speaking to the Telegraph on his way to Wembley on the home stretch of the trip from Crawley Town’s Broadfield Stadium, Mr Cox said he had found the trip ‘shattering’.
He said: “It’s been tiring but brilliant. The weather was awful for the first three days, Tuesday was the only good day, but we didn’t let that get our spirits down.
“There have been lots of highlights but I think being greeted by a family at York City’s Bootham Crescent – who came out in the pouring rain with their kids – was quite a touching moment because they just wanted to congratulate us.
“The England win on Tuesday night was the perfect way to finish it off. People had been on the radio saying we would not be able to do it, which makes it even more satisfying.”
Simon and the other three members of the team, Mike Peters, Darren Young, and Mark Burns, who all live elsewhere in the county, took turns behind the wheel during the trip and drove through the night.
They do not yet know how much they have collected for Help for Heroes.
The team are still collecting donations. To find out more, visit www.92plus1.co.uk.
Show of support
The team were joined, and encouraged, on legs of the journey by a number of former football players.
Those included Wellingborough-born former Leicester City striker Trevor Benjamin, Micky Hazard, formerly of Spurs, Chelsea and Swindon Town, former Norwich City defender Daryl Sutch, former Jamaica and Fulham striker Barry Hayles and former Aston Villa and Tranmere Rovers defender Shaun Teale.