Leading football pundit takes on Kilimanjaro challenge for charity (From Darlington and Stockton Times)
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Leading football pundit takes on Kilimanjaro challenge for charity
A LEADING television football pundit is swapping the comfort of the studio for the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro for a charity fundraiser.
Jeff Stelling will tackle the mountain climb in June when he joins former football stars Colin Cooper and Craig Hignett for the challenge.
The trio will be part of a group of 15 intrepid explorers who will attempt to reach the 4,895m summit of Africa’s highest mountain to raise vital cash for the Finlay Cooper Fund in aid of children’s charities.
The fund was set up by former Middlesbrough, Millwall and Nottingham Forest defender Colin Cooper and his wife Julie in memory of their son, Finlay, who died in a tragic choking accident shortly before his second birthday 10 years ago.
Hartlepool-born Stelling, who has run the London Marathon eight times, expects one of the toughest tests of his life in trekking up to 13 hours a day to reach the top of the Tanzanian mountain.
The lifelong Hartlepool United fan, who will be 58 later this month, is calling on viewers of his popular Gillette Soccer Saturday show to sponsor him and his fellow trekkers.
Former England defender Cooper, who is now youth team coach at Middlesbrough, said: “This is the fund’s biggest, most ambitious fundraising effort to date and we’re absolutely delighted that a national name such as Jeff has agreed to join us.
“While it will no doubt be an incredible experience, this will be an absolutely massive effort by all those taking part because the altitude makes progress increasingly difficult even for the fittest of people.
“Our goal is not only to reach the top but to raise as much funds for the children’s charities as we possibly can, so we’re calling on the generosity of football fans and the general public.”
The group will fly out to Africa on June 7 and hope to reach the summit on June 14.
To sponsor Jeff and his fellow Kilimanjaro trekkers visit www.virginmoneygiving.com/team/finlaycooperfund Any business interested in being main sponsor of the expedition should contact Graham Fordy on 07802-553553 to discuss the range of potential benefits.