Ex-Blackpool boss Gary Bowyer joins Jay Spearing in taking on '100k in May' challenge in aid of Stephen Darby's MND charity

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Former Blackpool manager Gary Bowyer is joining the likes of Jay Spearing in taking part in the ‘100k in May’ campaign to raise vital funds for The Darby Rimmer MND Foundation.
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Blackpool captain Jay Spearing takes on ambitious challenge to raise funds for c...

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 Motor Neurone Disease - a fatal disease which progressively weakens the brain and nerves, and can impact the ability to walk, talk, eat, drink and breathe.

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Gary Bowyer managed the Seasiders between 2016 and 2018Gary Bowyer managed the Seasiders between 2016 and 2018
Gary Bowyer managed the Seasiders between 2016 and 2018 | jpimedia

Darby, who is married to England Women's star Steph Houghton, came through the youth ranks at Liverpool alongside Spearing.

The latest initiative devised by the foundation is the ‘100k in May’ challenge – where participants are challenged to walk or run 100km during the month while fundraising.

Bowyer, who guided the Seasiders back to League One at the first attempt in 2017, has joined a growing list of high-profile names pledging their support to the campaign.

The 48-year-old set himself an initial fundraising target of £1,000 but that has already been smashed.

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At the time of writing, Bowyer had raised just under £3,000, while over £110,000 had been raised in total.

Bowyer was the manager of Bradford City, one of Darby’s former clubs, when a charity match was played against Liverpool at Valley Parade in July 2019 to raise funds for the foundation.

A sell-out 24,000 crowd saw the European champions beat the Bantams 3-1 after Darby had given an emotional speech before the game.

“It shows the measure of support for Stephen Darby, Chris Rimmer and the foundation,” Bowyer said at the time.

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“It's been massive and we have raised lots of awareness. It was an unbelievable day.”

To donate to Bowyer’s fundraiser, visit his JustGiving page at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/garybowyer100K