ACCRINGTON Stanley fans will be goal-den supporters on Sunday as they raise money for two charities – including the Observer’s Aspire fund.
Around 60 fans will be winners off the pitch as they walk from Accrington to Rochdale in time for Stanley’s League Two clash with the Dale at 2pm.
Coronation Street star Sean Wilson, who played Martin Platt in the soap, hopes to make the 15-mile trek with the fans as they also raise money for a Nepalese children’s charity of which he is a patron.
Accrington fan John Timmins came up with the idea but long-term supporter Steve Lowe has managed to put it into practise.
He said: "I interviewed Sean on my Radio Lancashire radio show about six months ago and I was staggered to learn that you need just £3,000 to build a school in Nepal. It just seems so cheap and it is such an achievable amount to raise.
"We also want to do something for the town and the Accrington Pals Chapel is close to people’s hearts.
"We got the idea of a walk and, from a small group, there are now about 60 of us, including Stanley’s chief executive Rob Heys."
The group will set off at 7.30am from the Fraser Eagle Stadium and go through Rising Bridge to Haslingden, Edenfield, over Owd Betts and to Rochdale, arriving at the ground at about 12 to 12.30pm – although there will be a brief pub stop around two miles from Spotland.
Steve said: "We want to raise the profile of football fans and show them in a positive light and I think this does that. We wanted to do it for charity and show we can make a difference."
There will also be a bucket collection at Rochdale, while Fraser Eagle is providing coaches back to Accrington and the Crown pub is putting on a pie supper for the weary walkers.
They hope they can raise at least £3,000 and anyone wanting to contribute can email email@example.com.
St John’s joins the Big Walk
A SIZEABLE contingent from St John’s Church will take part in the Big Walk for the Aspire appeal.
They will join the walk along the Leeds-Liverpool Canal towpath on Sunday 11 May.
The 10-mile walk from Clayton-le-Moors to Burnley is organised by Church and Oswaldtwistle Rotary Club as a major charity fund-raiser.
After paying a small entry fee, walkers can raise cash for their own good causes.
Aspire co-ordinator Karen Smyth has already registered for the walk with her two sisters, along with churchwarden Frank Whitehead and his wife, who did it last year, and several other members of the congregation are expected to join them.
Caroline to run a marathon
CAROLINE Lee is hoping to raise money for the appeal by running the London Marathon on 13 April.
She is following a family tradition as her dad, Harry Haseley, is a veteran runner with 129 marathons to his name.
Harry also supports the Aspire Appeal, not least because he is proud to have built the steel platform which supports the church organ pipes in the Pals Chapel
Caroline, a member of the St John’s congregation, is hoping people will sponsor her on her first marathon attempt.
She can be contacted by email on firstname.lastname@example.org or sponsorship pledges can be sent to the Observer offices.
TV ANTIQUES expert Eric Knowles has confirmed that he will appear at an event to support the appeal on 30 April. Aspire organisers are currently working with Accrington and Rossendale College to plan the event and further details will be announced shortly.