Football fan on epic charity run heading for Fleetwood and Blackpool this weekend
A football fan on an epic nationwide run to all 92 grounds in the top four English leagues is set to reach the Blackpool and Fleetwood stadiums this weekend.
Nathan Richardson 29, who lives in Sale and supports Manchester United and Rochdale, wants to help mental health charity Mind and is combining his two passions - football and running.
The ex-soldier first took to running in 2019 to lose weight and tackle his depression after an uncle he was close to died, and he realised that running was beneficial to his mental health.
Having completed two marathons, he was ready for another challenge and hit upon the idea of running to 92 grounds in the EFL and Premier League - the equivalent of 95 marathons.
Ex-soldier Nathan began his challenge at Manchester United's Old Trafford stadium in March last year, but his progress was interrupted by the coronavirus outbreak.
Despite the setbacks, he has reached 84 grounds from as far afield as Plymouth, Norwich and Carlise, with Morecambe's
On Saturday he is due to arrive at Fleetwood's Highbury stadium and on Sunday he will be at Blackpool's Bloomfield Road, with Preston North End's Deepdale after that.
Nathan, who is single but has a nine year old daughter, Sian, gave up work to follow his dream and said: " It's been tough going at times but I am enjoying it.
"I'm looking forward to get to Fleetwood because my uncle who died, Colin Addison, was a Fleetwood Town fan who went to all the homes games.
"He lived in Poulton and when I reach the stadium the club tell me I'll be able to take a look at the seat where he used to sit.
"He died of trouble a couple of years ago and I really miss him."
Nathan's goal is to use his challenge to raise money for Mind and to spread the word that running or any physical exercise can help to manage mental health problems.
He is keen to raise awareness of mental health and help break the stigma surrounding the topic.
Nathan is running between every ground with all his kit on his back and covers approximately 50 to 100 miles a week.
The total distance he will cover is about 2,000 to 2,500 miles and Nathan aims to complete the huge challenge by the end of this year.
He also plans to help the environment by incorporating ‘plogging’ into his runs. Plogging is running with a plastic bag and gloves whilst picking up rubbish as you go.
So far he has raised £5,363.45 of a £9,200 target.
To follow Nathan's challenge see www.facebook.com/Runaroundthegrounds/