Our Steve’s 85-mile charity walk

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OUR Steve is stocking up on blister cream – and boy, is he going to need it!

The Gazette’s man at Bloomfield Road Steve Canavan is tackling a mammoth 85-mile charity walk.

Steve Canavan in training for his charity walk with Blackpool FC assistant manager Steve Thompson (right) and player Stephen Crainey.

Steve Canavan in training for his charity walk with Blackpool FC assistant manager Steve Thompson (right) and player Stephen Crainey.

The rest of the office think he has lost the plot, and even Canavan admits he is taking on quite a challenge.

And no wonder. The Gazette’s football writer is entering the Parish Walk on the Isle of Man and must complete an exhausting trek around the island in less than 24 hours.

“I’m fit – I stroll to the local shop to buy milk every day,” he said. “What can go wrong?”

The walk takes place on Saturday June 25, starting at 8am and ending the following morning, and Canavan is entering the event with his pal Gareth Jones, of South Park, Lytham.

He added: “It seemed a light-hearted muckabout at first, then alarm bells started to ring when someone mentioned it was filmed by Sky Sports.

“I looked at the other entrants and they all had things like ‘Sale Harriers’ after their names.

“Turns out it’s a serious race, but unfortunately it’s too late for me to pull out now.”

Canavan, who reports on Blackpool FC and is being backed by the players and management, decided to enter to raise money for two individuals connected with the football club; Gary Parkinson and Luke Rutter.

Luke was 15 when he died last year. The Lytham St Annes High School pupil was a huge Seasiders supporter.

Youth team coach Parkinson suffered a stroke in September and is suffering from locked-in syndrome. He is aware of everything going on around him but cannot respond.

Canavan said: “I hope everyone in Blackpool, particularly supporters of the club, will get behind this and donate.

“I went to see Gary in hospital at the weekend. He is making progress and we pray and hope he makes a full recovery.”

Gary’s wife, Deborah, said: “I am touched by the amount of support that continues to flood in.

“It is just fantastic what Steve is doing and I wish him the best of luck with the walk and sponsorship.

“This is great event that will support two families.”

The money raised from the walk will split between the Gary Parkinson Fighting Fund and the charity CRY (Cardiac Risk in the Young).

- YOU CAN SPONSOR STEVE’S WALK AT www.justgiving.com/canavancanter OR YOU CAN CLICK ON THE LINK TO THE RIGHT OF THIS ARTICLE