Report by walker, Chris Dowsett..
In an attempt to top last year’s effort of walking from Peterborough United to Nottingham Forest, 15 Free Kick’s Foundation walkers set upon the daunting challenge of walking 74 miles to every Football League ground in London, starting at Barnet and finishing at Wembley Stadium.
The group left London Road at 6am on Thursday 26th May in a minibus lent by Peterborough United, and very gratefully driven by Andy Mills, and headed to North London. The walkers left in good spirits with a first day itinerary that included Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur, Leyton Orient and West Ham, however moods were dampened with a succession of unrelenting rain storms that delayed our arrivals at most grounds. A long day was successfully completed at Upton Park at 7pm.
Day 2 started with aches and pains but the weather was pleasant as we left our starting point in Barking, to head the four miles towards Dagenham & Redbridge. After a quick tour of the Daggers ground, the long trek began (9.34 miles!) towards the Valley at Charlton, which involved a very long walk alongside the A13, a trip on the Woolwich Ferry and some very unwelcome steep hills on the final approach. With blisters prominent and injuries rearing their heads, we headed off towards Millwall where we were greeted by the club’s staff, showing us around the dressing rooms and then heading out of the tunnel onto the New Den pitch. The last leg of the day culminated in the gruelling task of walking a further 8.1 miles to Crystal Palace, which again ended in an up and down terrain. So the day finished very wearily at Selhurst Park, which left just 23 miles for the final approach to Wembley.
Injuries put pay to a few walkers on the last day, but the rest carried on admirably in a day which took us to Chelsea, Fulham, QPR, Brentford (via a few Fullers pub visits) and finally Wembley at 7pm, just 45 minutes before the kick off of the Champions League Final.
More pictures here