Blackpool FC fans beat their target in gruelling challenge

Robert McLeod (left) and Gavin Goulds after completing the overnight fundraising hike in the Peak District
Robert McLeod (left) and Gavin Goulds after completing the overnight fundraising hike in the Peak District
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When Blackpool FC fans Gavin Goulds and Robert McLeod decided to undertake a tough sponsored hike for charity, they thought £500 would be a reasonable target.

But the pals have smashed that total and so far raised more than £1,770 for mental health chaity, MIND - with more funds set to come in.

The duo successfully managed to complete the gruelling 12-hour overnight event known as the MIND United: Trek the Peak District challenge last weekend, which was run in conjunction with the English Football League (EFL).

Gavin, a season ticket holder who grew up in Blackpool, said the charity was one which was particularly close to their hearts as Anna McLeod, Rob’s wife and one of Gavin's best friends, took her own life last year.

This tragedy made the pair not only want to raise money for the cause, but also raise awareness of mental health problems, which are only now starting to be discussed.

The event itself has raised an impressive total of £13,000 so far.

Gavin, who admitted the challenge was "hellish" at times, said: "We just wanted to raise funds and support for a chronically under-funded section of our society.

"The event was a fantastic thing to be a part of.

"It brought together people from different football clubs from all over the country in differing roles from Plymouth's stadium manager to coaches, club shop workers to fans.

"It was in a beautiful part of the world and the weather was very kind to us, which helped.

"The event itself has now raised nearly £13,000 which will go to Mind and will be used to support those suffering from mental health challenges across the country.

"Mind are a fantastic charity to be involved with and it was nice to see several members of their staff take part in the event itself.

"I think it's fantastic that the English football league are undertaking this huge project to raise awareness for mental health because It's still something that isn't as open as it should be in our society, and I hope that this does something to change that.

"I was proud of my friend Rob and I for not only getting through the event, but also for enjoying it as much as we did but also for hitting well over our target."

The pair wanted to thank those who sponsored them.