By Richard Sykes

Marcus Stewart and Stephen Darby’s ‘March of the Day’ MND fundraising walk has raised almost double its initial £100,000 target – so far.

The proceeds from the 178-mile sponsored trek from Valley Parade in Bradford to Anfield in Liverpool will go to the Darby Rimmer MND Foundation and be used to help people affected by motor neurone disease and fund research into a cure.

The two former professional footballers behind the ‘March of the Day’ have both been diagnosed with MND.

Former Huddersfield Town star Marcus was thrilled by the support for the ‘march’ which took place over the weekend of March 22-24.

He said: “The idea for the project came from Mike Wilson at Redwood Events. His organisation works closely with the Darby Rimmer Foundation in promoting the charity’s fundraising and organising the logistics for its projects.

“I have received good support from the Foundation and I was really happy to become involved. I couldn’t believe how many people turned up for the start in Bradford and it was great to see my former teammates from Huddersfield Town, Wayne Allison, Jon Dyson, Rob Edwards and Ken Monkou joining the walk from the off.

“The John Smith’s Stadium leg was very special for me with Huddersfield being my club. Teams from Huddersfield RUFC, where my sons play rugby, joined in at this point.

“The rugby club has raised lots of money for MND and I really appreciate everything they have done and all the support they have given me.”

The four support teams from the rugby club deviated from the main route in Huddersfield town centre to finish their section at their Lockwood Park HQ.

One of the rugby walkers said: “We wanted to add our ground to the 15 football grounds scheduled for an official visit.

“Marcus is a popular figure at our club and we hope Lockwood Park’s inclusion will mean something to him.” The rugby club groups have raised over £2,600 for the cause.

Marcus’s sons Finlay and Kian were joined by Huddersfield RUFC teammates Lewis Workman and Liam Parfitt on the trans-Pennine moorland leg. Other players supported the march on the earlier Elland Road stage.

The last stretch was from Goodison Park to Anfield in Liverpool. Rugby club member Tim Wadsworth and his wife Sally added the final leg to the John Smith’s one they had completed two days earlier.

Tim said: “We had a great day. Jamie Rednapp, Jill Scott and lots of ex-pros were there and we met up with Marcus and family again. It was a very emotional occasion for them.”

Marcus added: “The Anfield finish was very special. Over 500 people, all affected in some way by MND, were there. I can’t thank people enough for all the support and encouragement they have given.”

The March of the Day ‘Just Giving’ page HERE will remain open until June 22 for people wishing to donate.

Images by: Huddersfield Hub photographer SEAN DOYLE