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Football team run the entire length of Great Britain

An amateur football side in Occold has run the entire distance of Great Britain, raising thousands of pounds for the NHS and key workers.

Tallying their distances online, more than 30 players at Occold Football Club ran an accumulated 1,407km – the distance between Land’s End, the southernmost point of England, to John O’Groats, the northernmost point of Scotland – raising a grand total of £2,140 for NHS Charities Together.

Connor Bennett, 22, who plays for the side, said: “We had two finals that we were in but, obviously, we can’t play now, so we were a bit gutted.

Jim Chapman completes the club's 1,407th kilometre at the Beaconsfield Arms in Occold.
Jim Chapman completes the club's 1,407th kilometre at the Beaconsfield Arms in Occold.

“The leagues have said that finals might be played in pre-season of next year, so we wanted to all stay fit.

“We thought we could do something to raise money for the NHS workers.

“We’re all grateful for what they’re doing. They’re putting their lives at risk, so it’s just a chance to do something very small for people who are doing a lot.

“We were all sticking to the government guidelines – no running in built-up areas or anything like that. But we’re all quite lucky in that sense because we’re all based in the middle of nowhere anyway.”

The players in the squad range from the ages of 18 to 45, yet the final kilometre was completed by one of the club’s most dedicated supporters, 66-year-old Jim Chapman.

Mr Chapman completed his first and the club’s 1,407th kilometre by running from his home in The Causeway, Occold, to the Beaconsfield Arms Pub, where supporters and members of the team watched on from a safe distance.

Mr Chapman said: “The boys asked me if I was prepared to do it and, because they’ve all put in a great deal of effort to do all these miles, it was just a privilege to take part.

“I’m really proud of all the boys, they’re a terrific bunch of lads.”

Mr Bennett added: “I’m absolutely chuffed with the squad. It’s really what we’re about, and I’m really proud of everyone involved.”

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