The Bob Willis Fund

Posted: April 17 2024

Sefton Park Cricket Club Charity Walk

Sefton Park Cricket Club Charity Walk

A huge thank you to Sefton Park Cricket Club who organised a charity walk and raised over £3,000 for The Bob Willis Fund and three other worthy causes. Read their account below, written by Jamie Bowman.

On Good Friday an intrepid group of Sefton Park players and members, led by club chairman Charlie Daniels, met at Croxteth Drive at the ungodly hour of 5am before a minibus drove them to Fleetwood Hesketh Cricket Club.

Five years on from our charity walk from Old Trafford to Sefton Park, a similar hair-brained idea was dreamt up to walk from the most northerly Liverpool and District Cricket Competition club back along the Sefton coastline, into Liverpool and on to Sefton Park, visiting as many clubs as we could on the way. All in all the route would be a distance of 34 miles.

From Fleetwood Hesketh, we walked to Southport Trinity before our first encounter with civilisation occurred at Trafalgar Road where Southport and Birkdale Cricket Club’s Tony Elwood welcomed us with some much needed coffees.

SnB to Formby was next as the pavement turned into sand dunes and we made our way to Cricket Path where we were greeted with bacon, eggs, sausages and even a cheeky pint or two. Incredible hospitality and a welcome boost as we set off for Hightown.

Thankfully the weather stayed fine as we avoided the unexploded ordinance, Natterjack toads and red squirrels along the route – a special thank you to the lovely couple near Formby who asked us what we were up to and donated a tenner to the cause!

Hightown Cricket Club also welcomed us with open arms with hot dogs and drinks on the house and some very encouraging words which all set us on the trail to Bootle in renewed spirits.

The common consensus was that this would be the hardest bit of the journey – an eight mile trek along the coastal path on the paved promenade and with the threat that the fine weather could turn at any minute. And so it proved. As we approached Crosby, the heavens opened with thunder and lightning thrown in for good measure – as we were on the most exposed part of the walk there was no escape and as we eventually sheltered close to the lightboat station with only the famous Iron Men for company, spirits suddenly worsened.

Full marks then to Chairman Daniels who proved an inspiration as he dragged us from the picturesque coastline into the industrial bleakness of Bootle. Continuous showers accompanied us all the way to Wadham Road but hearts were gladdened by the sight of ‘The Colonel’ awaiting us in the car park with much needed beer and brandy.

It was around 5pm when the bedraggled band set off on the final leg of nine miles back to Sefton Park (via Aigburth CC). By now the soreness and blisters were really kicking in and with nightfall came another challenge. Eventually at around 8.30pm some figures emerged from the gloom of the lower ground and the walk was completed! An amazing welcome from Jan, who cooked up a marvellous vegetarian chilli, was a fine reward for the hardy boys and girls who finished – as were the numerous pints and the news that we had smashed our £2,000 target!

Thanks to everyone who supported us throughout the day – especially the clubs who showed what the Liverpool Comp in its best light and everyone who donated. A special mention to Paul Foulder, Jan Kelly and Eleanor Daniels. Plans are already being drawn up for the next challenge!

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