Midlands football-fanatic friends walk 12 Midlands Clubs in eight days

East Midlands Airport (EMA) worker Matt Roberts and a team of friends will visit 12 Midlands football clubs in eight days as they walk 170 miles to raise vital funds for children and young people with cancer.

(L-R top row to bottom) Matt Roberts, John Roberts, Tyler Milbourne, Simon Milbourne and Charlie Milbourne

Matt Roberts 35, Operations Development and Safety Assistant at EMA, will be joined by his brother Jonathan Roberts 41, and friend Simon Milbourne 34. Simon's sons Tyler and Charlie Milbourne (aged 14 and 12) will also walk alongside them for part of their journey.

The group will depart from Port Vale Football Club's ground Vale Park in Stoke-On-Trent on Friday 23 March. 

From there they will head to (in order): Stoke City, Burton Albion, Walsall, Wolverhampton Wanderers, West Bromwich Albion, Aston Villa, Birmingham City, Leicester City, Nottingham Forest, Notts County and Derby County.

They aim to arrive at Derby County's Pride Park Stadium on Easter Saturday, 31 March, just in time for kick-off, after tackling an average distance of 26 miles a day.

The 170 miles that the lads will be walking, represents the £170 grant which CLIC Sargent gives to families and young adults to help with the immediate financial needs that they face after a cancer diagnosis.

Matt's colleagues at Manchester Airports Group (MAG), the group that owns EMA, chose CLIC Sargent as their first ever national charity partner in 2015.

The walkers, a mixture of Derby andort Vale fans, are putting their football allegiances aside to raise money for CLIC Sargent. They are hoping to raise £2,500 in sponsorship and are calling for people to donate what they can to help support young cancer patients and their families.

Matt said: “The reason I am doing this for CLIC Sargent is since our partnership began at MAG, I have seen what great work they do in supporting young people and families. I feel this challenge is the least I can do to try and help raise money to support this wonderful charity. “

The lads have been training hard and sometimes in freezing conditions to make sure they will be up for the challenge, and in order to stick to their strict time-schedule. And as if the challenging walk wasn’t tough enough, the boys are also planning to kick a football along the entirety of the walk.

“It’s a huge challenge that we’ve set ourselves but we’ve been training hard and can’t wait to get started. We have been training 4-5 days a week and have tried to complete 10-15 miles walking a day in preparation." 

Matt said: “Please dig deep and support us so that CLIC Sargent can be there for more families facing cancer when they need them most.” 

CLIC Sargent is the UK’s leading cancer support charity for children and young people aged 0-24 and their families. Its team including social workers, cancer nurses and play specialists provide emotional, practical and financial support.

Sam Scott, Corporate Fundraising Manager, CLIC Sargent, said:  

“We are so pleased to have the support of MAG in our fight for young lives against cancer. Without the amazing efforts from fundraisers like Matt and the team we wouldn’t be able to provide the vital support we do." 

"We wish the team the best of luck for their challenge and would like to say a huge thank you to them for all their hard work.”

To sponsor the team’s fundraising challenge for CLIC Sargent visit: