Tingley Athletic take a walk to save lives

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A tireless group of marathon walkers have managed to raise over £6,000 as they bid to install life-saving defibrillators at their football club.

A total of 13 members from Tingley Athletic are nursing their feet after they took a 150-mile round trip from their ground to Bridlington and back over the Easter weekend.

The effort was described as “crazy” by the club’s secretary when it was first suggested by team manager Mick Asquith. However, the walk was completed to raise money for the electric shock equipment to be installed on the outside of Athletic’s clubhouse and on the walls of Blackgates Primary School where a number of the club’s teams train. The defibrillators could then be used by the club and local community in the event of an emergency.

Mick, 39, who has suffered from long-term heart problems himself, had a defibrillator mechanically placed into his chest after he had a cardiac arrest in 2009.

He said: “The walk was a brilliant experience.

“I found it difficult in places, but I was lucky because I didn’t get injured and I didn’t get blisters, though I know some of the others did.

The atmosphere was great. I think I’ve met people who I’ll be friends with for the rest of my life.

Mick Asquith, team manager

“All 13 of us and the driver who helped us along as well were so close together and we really looked after each other. The atmosphere was great. I think I’ve met people who I’ll be friends with for the rest of my life.”

The group set off from Tingley on Good Friday and arrived in the seaside town the following day following an overnight stop in a hotel. On their return to the clubhouse via Selby on Easter Monday, they were greeted with a hero’s welcome by a gathering of the club’s other members.

Also among the group’s number, joining the team for the last leg of the trip, was schoolgirl Cody Hartley, who has avidly fundraised for defibrillators across her community for two years.

Adventurous Mick now has his eyes on his next fundraiser. Next year he is planning to ride across the Leeds-Liverpool canal on a pedalo!

“If I do something, it’s got to be crazy,” he said. “Because of my heart I can’t jump out of a plane or do bunjee jumps or anything like that, so it’s got to be something a bit different.”

The team wished to thank shirt sponsors Striker Tots, Arrow Self Drive in Wakefield and charity Goals4Hearts.