Millwall and Charlton fans charity parachute in aid of mental health

BY LAURIE CHURCHMAN
toby@slpmedia.co.uk

Rival football fans have taken their plans to come together in aid of mental health to new heights — with a 15,000ft tandem parachute jump.

Millwall supporter Terry Marsh and Charlton fan Josh Gowers are set to put their differences aside and take the plunge together in June as part of an ambitious fundraising campaign for the Alzheimer’s Society.

The campaign — called Where’s Wally’s Warwick Walk without Wallets — will see seven fans dress up as the popular picture book character and embark on a series of stunts as they complete a five-day, 80-mile sponsored walk from Millwall to Warwick.

They will be decked out in Wally’s trademark stripy jumpers, and determined not to spend any money. Along the way, the fans will bed down in a fire station in Buckinghamshire, rally drive in Bicester, play ice hockey in Oxford, and stop off for a spot of lawn bowls in High Wycombe.

And with their wallets at home they will be relying on support from people they meet on the way to keep them on the road.

“We will literally sing for our supper if we have to”, said Terry. Anything, he explained, to raise awareness.

He said: “Alzheimer’s and dementia have overtaken cancer — they are now the biggest killers in the UK. We need to make everyone aware.”

The group has raised nearly half of its £1,000 target for the Alzheimer’s Society on fundraising website JustGiving, and 17 clubs across the country — among them Arsenal and Manchester City — have pledged memorabilia, including signed shirts.

In January, Mr Marsh donned his Wally costume and invited Millwall fans to play a live version of Where’s Wally and spot him in the stands of The Den.

“There’s a big stigma surrounding the disease,” he explained. “As a Millwall fan I know all about stigma.

If we start talking about Alzheimer’s and understanding more, then we can begin the almighty task of finding a cure.”

For details or to offer support contact alzheimerscharitywalk@hotmail.com