Wednesday, April 24, 2024

PCA: Maynard overcomes hospitalisation to complete epic hike

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Photo Credit: Professional Cricketers’ Association

Maynard walks length of country for Professional Cricketers Trust and Help for Heroes.

Former England Test cricketer Matt Maynard has completed his epic wellington boots walk across the country in aid of two charities that inspired him.

In October last year, the man with 18 England caps commenced the mammoth ‘Wellyman’ challenge from John O’Groats in Scotland to Land’s End in Cornwall, a total of 1,189 miles, to raise money for the Professional Cricketers’ Trust and Help for Heroes.

The former Glamorgan head coach was joined by friends, family (including daughter Ceri who completed 12 days) and former teammates and cricketers along the way including former Somerset all-rounder Peter Trego and a four strong Glamorgan contingent of Dave Harrison, Mike Powell, Martin Roberts and Michael Cann.

However, it wasn’t all a stroll in the park for Maynard. Undulating terrain, battling the elements and extreme illness all contributed to his extraordinary trip.

“This is the biggest challenge that you can do in the country so I’m overjoyed to complete it, this was just my way of giving something back to two phenomenal charities.”

MATT MAYNARD

The former batter with more than 38,000 runs was unfortunately hospitalised just four days into the journey with what turned out to be a severe chest and lung infection.

After 12 days rest, Maynard was able to continue with the walk in stages as he completed Inverness to Edinburgh, Edinburgh to Kendal, Kendal to Shrewsbury, Shrewsbury to Monmouth and Monmouth to Bridgewater.

He celebrated his 58th birthday on Thursday, in the final 10-day stretch of his challenge from Bridgewater to Land’s End, arriving at the iconic landmark today (Saturday 23 March), following his super-human effort.

You can still donate to Matt’s incredible challenge as he looks to reach the £20,000 mark in the coming days.

This wasn’t Maynard’s first hike in wellies, having previously travelled from Cardiff to Colwyn Bay for the Tom Maynard Trust, set up following the tragic death of his son in 2012.

After Tom’s passing, the Professional Cricketers’ Trust supported the Maynard family through counselling with Matt encouraging other current and former players over the years to use the services of the charity if they need help.

The Professional Cricketers’ Trust is a registered charity created to support the health and well-being of PCA members and their immediate families for the whole of their lives. The assistance we provide includes: medical advice, provision of specialist equipment, funding operations and providing support for health and wellbeing issues.

Help for Heroes champions the Armed Forces community and helps them live well after service. The charity helps veteran families to recover and get on with their lives. It has already supported more than 31,000 people and won’t stop until every veteran gets the support they deserve.

The charity supports veteran families, from any branch of the UK military – regulars or reserves – irrespective of length or place of service, and locally embedded civilians (and their families) who worked under the command of UK Armed Forces.

Former England Test cricketer, Matt Maynard, said: “John O’Groats to Land’s End is the biggest challenge that you can do in the country so I’m overjoyed to complete it, this was just my way of giving something back to two phenomenal charities.

“The Trust has been great to me over the years, when I was a player and when we lost Tom, they’ve done such an excellent job and I’m very grateful to them for how they’ve supported me. The Trust is always there and it’s amazing to think how many players they look after.

“Help for Heroes is a charity that I’ve admired for a long time and they have to raise an extremely large amount of money each year. Our forces do an amazing job and I can’t believe some of the struggles that they face so it’s nice to be able to contribute to a worthwhile cause.

“Being hospitalised was a worry but it enabled me to re-evaluate and set more realistic targets for the walk.

“Lots of people have completed the John O’Groats to Land’s End challenge but I’ve done some research and I think I’m the first person ever to do it in wellies and in the same pair of wellies too – I think it’s a world first.”

Help for Heroes’ Area Fundraising Manager, Rhys Edwards, said: “This has been a tough challenge for Matt, as could be seen on his daily updates. However, his determination prevailed, and I am very pleased to see him complete it. He should be very proud of his efforts, not only personally, but also for his support for Help for Heroes and the Professional Cricketers’ Trust.”

Professional Cricketers’ Trust Director, Ian Thomas, said: “This has got to be one of the most incredible challenges I have ever seen completed for the players’ charity. What an amazing achievement from Matt. We’re very grateful for the money that he’s been able to raise for the Trust and it’s brilliant that Matt has supported another extremely worthy charity in Help for Heroes too.

“The best part about Matt’s generosity is that he knows what it’s like to receive support from the Trust, meaning we can assist more current and former players and their immediate families in the future.”

Matt is aiming to raise £20,000 and you can still support his Wellyman Walk by visiting:  justgiving.com/campaign/MattWellymanWalk.

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