Blackpool captain Jay Spearing takes on ambitious challenge to raise funds for charity of former Liverpool and Bolton teammate
Blackpool captain Jay Spearing is keeping active during lockdown by running 100,000km in the month of May to raise money for a charity close to his heart.
The 31-year-old is taking on the ambitious challenge to help raise some much-needed funds for the Darby Rimmer Motor Neurone Disease (MND) Foundation.
The charity was set up by Spearing’s former Liverpool and Bolton Wanderers teammate Stephen Darby alongside his close friend Chris Rimmer.
Darby was forced to retire from football in 2018 when he was diagnosed with MND - a fatal disease which progressively weakens the brain and nerves, and can impact the ability to walk, talk, eat, drink and breathe.
Darby, who is married to England Women's star Steph Houghton, came through the youth ranks at Liverpool alongside Spearing.
“Can’t wait to get started - this is such a special cause and I’m proud to support two close friends of mine,” Spearing posted to Twitter.
A number of Spearing’s Blackpool teammates have already contributed generously along with several Pool fans.
The midfielder, who is a patron of Darby's charity, has already smashed his fundraising target of £1,000. At the time of writing, the former Liverpool man had raised £1,872.
Almost £90,000 has been raised in total.
“There is no known cause of MND and there is no cure or effective treatment, it's always fatal,” Spearing’s JustGiving page states.
“There is a serious lack of awareness and more importantly funding. The Darby Rimmer Foundation aims to raise awareness of the disease whilst fundraising to support those affected and fund much-needed research.
“There is a lot of research going on and the signs are promising for treatments in the future.
“Anything that you can donate to help us achieve our fundraising target would be AMAZING and GREATLY appreciated!”
This is not the first time Spearing has raised awareness of Darby’s charity.
Last year, the midfielder scaled the ‘Big One’ rollercoaster at Blackpool’s Pleasure Beach to take part in a social media challenge.
Spearing, Mark Howard and others videoed themselves climbing on board the famous ride, where they sang the “Stephen Darby baby” chant to the tune of The Human League’s “Don’t You Want Me Baby”.
To donate to Spearing’s latest fundraiser, visit his JustGiving page here.