You might have seen a few weeks ago that we had what some might call a bizarre plan for a group to set off from Billy’s Statue at the crack of this morning, walk 35 miles around urban West Yorkshire, stop off at Valley Parade and the Kirklees Stadium, then stroll back to Elland Road in time for kick-off against Preston.

It’s all for charity, for Leeds Cares and Leeds Children’s Hospital, and Muscular Dystrophy UK, and you might have read more about it in the Yorkshire Evening Post and at Leeds Live, including the stunning news that Champions League left-back Ian Harte, Simon Rix of the Kaiser Chiefs, and about 25 others had willingly signed up for this mad idea.

I mean, there are some lovely places to walk in West Yorkshire, and this doesn’t go to any of those.

Anyway, the day has come, and they’re actually all going through with it. This bunch set off at 5.45am:

— and were last spotted taking on some much needed sustenance in, er, a Wetherspoons near Bradford. There is a live link here that is tracking their progress on a map, so we’re pretty sure they haven’t just been in the pub all morning.

There’s also, most importantly of all, a link to donate to the good causes this madness is helping, and it’s right here: https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/thesquareball

Including gift aid, almost £7,000 has been raised so far — but it’s only lunchtime. They’ve got six more hours of walking ahead, so that’s a lot of time for you to help us raise even more money.

They even managed to find Chris Kamara somewhere, so if that’s not worth a donation, we don’t know what is.

Money raised for this event will be split between Leeds Children’s Hospital’s parent charity Leeds Cares and Muscular Dystrophy UK. We have supported Leeds Children’s Hospital for several years, and it was an easy choice; the work they do for children across the region is invaluable and we’re truly fortunate to have such an incredible place in the city. Your donation will help them continue providing the best possible health and wellbeing for children and young adults, and the best possible support for their families.

The reason we’ve chosen Muscular Dystrophy UK, is very simple: Martin Hywood. Not only does he complete a 330 mile round trip to games at Elland Road, but over the past few years Martin has organised countless fundraising events, many centred around Leeds United. In defiance of his own mobility issues, last year Martin led a team, predominantly of Leeds fans, up a mountain. A bloody mountain. This year he has continued to inspire Leeds fans to run marathons, cycle daft distances and now, plod around West Yorkshire for a giggle. His relentless positivity is as remarkable as his fundraising, with an incredible team generating over £32,000 this year alone.

Martin’s film about MDUK is below, and that all important donation link is here again: https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/thesquareball

Thank you for your support.

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