A Salford man is running 17 miles next year to raise money for the Motor Neurone Disease Association.
Andy Walsh, 44, set himself the task after watching BBC Two’s My Year With MND, which follows former Leeds Rhinos player Rob Burrow’s struggle with the Motor Neurone Disease.
Andy, a life-long Salford Red Devils fan, felt huge disappointment when Leeds Rhinos beat the Devils 17-16 in the recent challenge cup final.
However, he felt he needed to support the Rhinos and Burrow with his fundraising challenge.
His efforts have been blessed by many including Burrow himself who said, “On behalf of myself and my family, I would like to thank Andy for his brilliant initiative. I wish him every success and hope many people donate to his initiative”.
This makes Salford Losing easier to take. Great player and a family man. I’m supporting him and the MND charity with a challenge of running 17 miles. My weight loss journey has started to be able to do this run. @BBCBreakfast @leedsrhinos @SalfordDevils https://t.co/cbsK15Wlbq https://t.co/Jear52LZM2
— Andy Walsh (@SalfordWalshy) October 20, 2020
“I was obviously gutted at the defeat, but then I watched the Rob Burrow programme about him suffering from MND and how it’s affected him. This brought things home to how lucky I am.
“In rugby league, we refer to each other as family. There is never violence between fans at matches, I take my family to all the games, it’s a really safe environment.
“I wanted to do my bit for the rugby league family so I decided to run the 17 miles, which is the amount of points Leeds Rhinos scored past us,” he said.
Rob Burrow also highlights the kind spirit of the rugby league family saying, “Salford Red Devil’s played very well in the challenge cup and were unlucky to lose.
“Salford have been building up and becoming a major force within the Rugby League- every success in the Future Salford” he said.
Andy plans to complete the run on January 17 2021, and will train three to four times a week in preparation.
“I ran a marathon in 2014 and half marathons since but then I slipped off the wagon and gained weight, making this a real challenge I will win” said Andy.
He plans to start the run at the AJ Bell Stadium and head towards Wigan, passing Warrington Wolves’ Halliwell Jones Stadium on the way.
A fundraising page has been set up, with £127.00 of Andy’s £500 target already donated within the first 24 hours.
Andy will be keeping track of his progress on Twitter and hopes to gain the support of all the rugby league community, raising even more money for MNDA.
To donate, please visit Andy’s donation page.