Sky Sports’ Jeff Stelling was in Belfast yesterday on a scouting mission ahead of a charity walk which he will do in the city in September.
The 63-year-old Soccer Saturday presenter was at Windsor Park, one of four football grounds he will visit when he returns to walk a marathon in the Province in aid of Prostate Cancer UK.
Jeff has already completed 25 walking marathons for the charity in 2016 and 2017, raising close to £800,000.
His next challenge will see him walk four marathons in four days in the four home nations, in Glasgow, Belfast, Cardiff and London, from September 5 to 8.
He said: “Believe it or not walking a marathon is harder than running one. You start at eight in the morning and don’t finish until maybe seven at night. You’re on your feet for 11 hours. The repetition on those muscles and joints can be agonising.
“The walk in Belfast is a day after you (Northern Ireland) have a friendly at home to Luxembourg and a couple of days before you play Germany. I’m hoping there’s a good buzz and a good feel about the city.”
The 26-mile walk on Friday, September 6 will see Jeff visit the grounds of Crusaders, Cliftonville and Glentoran before finishing at Windsor Park, home of Linfield and the national team.
Joining Jeff at the National Stadium yesterday were two people involved with Prostate Cancer UK in the Province.
Frank McNally from Dungannon was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2008 when he had just turned 50. He had open surgery to remove his prostate that same year and began volunteering for the charity five years ago.
He said: “We want to continue to raise awareness, for men – who let’s be honest aren’t great at checking their health – to talk to someone if they think they may have an issue.”
Jackie Dickson’s husband William was diagnosed in 2016, aged 58. He went to England for surgery that was not available in NI.
The Newtownards woman, who has helped organise a series of walks for the charity at Stormont, said: “Already we’ve achieved the fact that surgery is now being carried out in Northern Ireland. Last year our campaign was to have a cancer strategy put in place. We’re delighted that it is now in the pipeline.”
• Stormont Estate will host a March for Men on June 9 ahead of Jeff’s main event on September 6