NI schoolboy Ben Dickinson walks from Larne to Old Trafford where he is praised by Manchester United legends Sir Alex Ferguson, Gary Neville, Paul Scholes and Wayne Rooney

A Northern Ireland schoolboy received a hero’s welcome at Old Trafford at the weekend after completing a 10-day trek in aid of food poverty charity FareShare.

By Graeme Cousins
Tuesday, 15th March 2022, 5:26 pm
Ben Dickinson completes his 10-day trek to Old Trafford
Ben Dickinson completes his 10-day trek to Old Trafford

Ben Dickinson, 11, walked 64 miles from his hometown in Larne to the home of Manchester United Football Club, raising over £28,000 which will fund more than 115,000 meals for the UK hunger charity.

Ben, inspired by his idol, England international, and FareShare ambassador, Marcus Rashford MBE, said: “I set myself the challenge of raising 50,000 meals but I am absolutely gobsmacked that my charity campaign has raised more than double that now.

“It was a tough trek, I definitely had sore legs at times, but knowing what FareShare can do with that money and that thousands of people in Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK will now have a healthy meal on the table, it makes every step worth it.”

The young fundraiser was supported along his charity walk by squad members of Larne Football Club and its owner Kenny Bruce, and met Manchester United stalwart’s Gary Neville, Paul Scholes, and Wayne Rooney.

His ‘Ben’s Miles for Meals’ campaign culminated with a pitchside ovation from a 75,000-strong Old Trafford crowd and a shirt presentation from Sir Alex Ferguson.

Proud dad Andrew Dickinson, who accompanied son Ben every step of the way, said: “I’m in awe of what Ben has achieved.

“He’s turned his love for Marcus Rashford into a charity campaign that will undoubtedly change the lives of thousands of people across the UK.

Ben with Sir Alex Ferguson

“Completely smashing his original target was reward enough but the hero’s welcome at Old Trafford was an experience he will never forget and we are so thankful to everyone who made it happen and supported him along the way.”

Ben added: “It really was the most amazing experience of my life”

The funds raised through the campaign will enable FareShare to tackle hunger in the most vulnerable communities by distributing food packages to charities and foodbanks in Northern Ireland, and across the rest of the UK.

For more information on the campaign, visit www.bensmilesformeals.com

Wayne Rooney supported Ben ahead of the final leg of his journey

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Ben was congratulated by Paul Scholes

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