HUDDERSFIELD TOWN chairman Dean Hoyle praised fans who hot-footed it to Barnsley on Saturday for a fundraising walk and said: “They never cease to amaze me”.
Some 175 supporters took up the club’s latest challenge to walk the 19 miles to Oakwell ahead of Saturday’s game, which Town won 1-0.
They set off from the club’s Canalside complex at 7am and reached their destination in plenty of time for kick-off.
Mr Hoyle and Town’s commercial director Sean Jarvis led from the front, in perfect autumnal weather.
“It went really well,” said Mr Hoyle. “It was quite chilly first thing but it was positively tropical by the time we reached Barnsley.
“The fans are really fantastic. They always answer the call and never cease to amaze me with their 100% backing.
“They want to support the club, they want to raise money and they want to be part of a community club. Whether it’s a bike ride or a walk they always turn out in force.”
It wasn’t a race but Karl Brook was the first of the walkers to arrive at Oakwell, striding in after just four hours and 23 seconds.
Coming in an hour or so later was Sian Badham, 32, of Outlane. She enjoyed the walk but was a bit sore yesterday.
“It all went well but there were a couple of hills we weren’t expecting and the last drag into Barnsley seemed to take forever.
“There was a really good atmosphere and the locals seemed friendly.
“An old man gave some children in front of us some sweets because he couldn’t believe they had walked all the way from Huddersfield.”
Sian also met up with former cricket umpire Dickie Bird, a big Barnsley fan.
Sian said: “He asked us what we were doing and signed autographs.
“He also said ‘if Barnsley lose today we’re going down’. And they lost!”
Another walker, Mark Whitaker, 31, of Mirfield, admitted he should have done a little more training.
“I got really bad cramp at the game and when we scored I struggled to stand up.
“I fell asleep when I got home at 8.30pm. Everywhere was killing. I was okay after a good bath though.”
The walkers included friends of Charlie White, a teenager who died of liver cancer.
Eighteen friends of the Kirkburton lad are a hoping to raise £1,000 for he Forget Me Not Hospice.
They raised £150 on the way and hope to raise more than £1,000 in sponsorship.
The group were all friends of Charlie, a talented young footballer who played centre back for Scissett Football Club’s Under 16 team.
He died on Easter Sunday.
Another walker Linzi Townend, 19, of Brighouse, was also feeling it a bit. “I have a few blisters but, like they say, no pain no gain.
“The atmosphere was great, cars beeping us and cheering. If anyone was struggling we all pulled together.”
Linzi’s friend Fiona Nicholson, 20, also of Brighouse, added: “Thanks goodness Town won. If we'd have lost the aches and pains would have been so much worse!”
Walk for Pounds2 followed the success of last year’s cross-Pennine trek to Bury.