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Jeff Stelling and Craig Hignett among fundraisers on trek for Finlay Cooper fund
A GROUP of celebrity climbers who are scaling Kilimanjaro for charity later this year were given a taste of things to come when they were exposed to a snowy Riverside Stadium.
Former Middlesbrough players Colin Cooper and Craig Hignett joined Sky Sports presenter Jeff Stelling for the media call for the Finlay Cooper Fund's fundraising efforts, which will see a team of 15 climb the 4,895m-high African mountain to raise cash for local children's charities.
And with the wind and snow circling Middlesbrough FC's football ground, they were given a glimpse of what will be when they set out on their efforts in June.
Boro stalwart Hignett, who now summarises for BBC Tees, said: “It's their winter. This is what it'll be like. I'm not going to have a haircut before I go and I'm going to grow a beard.
“I keep myself fit anyway so I don't think the training will be a problem. It's more mental than physical. We've got 15 lads going and I'm sure we'll all help each other through.”
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.
And Cooper, who played for both Middlesbrough and Sunderland in his career, said: “I keep myself in reasonable nick, but it's more about altitude so Teesside University have kindly allowed us to use their facilities to give us a feel of what it is going to be like to attempt heavy breathing at 4,500m.
“It's something completely different to what we've done before.”
To sponsor the 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.
To donate £5 to the Finlay Cooper Fund text "coop15 £5" to 70070.
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