Lifelong Saddler walking every step of the way in aid of Walsall Society for the Blind...LIFELONG Saddlers’ supporter, Graeme Brookes, will be walking every step of the way from Banks’s Stadium to Wembley Stadium to raise vital funds for Walsall Society for the Blind.
He is hoping to complete the gruelling 138-mile trek in seven and-a-half days, walking for eight hours each day and completing just over 291,000 steps in that time, so what is his motivation?
“I’m doing it for my grandfather, Ronald Brookes,” he said without hesitation. “He was a staunch Walsall fan for 83 years and was there for all the highs, including our 1933 FA Cup victory over Arsenal, and all the lows.
“The thing that made him extra special was that he was deaf and blind. He would be there home and away and have the game ‘typed’ on his hand using ‘deaf/blind manual alphabet’ by his son (my dad), Paul, and then as I got older, by myself too.
“He was present for our game at the Millennium Stadium in 2001, but never got the chance to see his team at Wembley. He spoke to me many times about it, but sadly he passed away in late 2005.
“Therefore after finally getting to Wembley, I felt it only appropriate to do something to represent him and make his presence known on what will be a special day for the club.
“The upshot is that my rather rotund self will be walking 20 miles each day for just over a week until I walk down Wembley Way on Sunday, March 22nd.
“Being a Walsall man his entire life, my grandfather received a tremendous amount of help and support from Walsall Society for the Blind. They are a local independent charity, established in 1885 and based at 11 Hatherton Road, Walsall. They support the blind (as well as the deaf) community by holding numerous social events as well as a community liaison team who assist with a wide range of issues from supporting those suffering with sight loss to supporting family members, assisting with benefits, housing and appropriate equipment.
“They rely heavily on the superb work of volunteers as well as on donations and fundraising. Therefore to honour my grandfather and his love for Walsall FC, and to combine it to help raise as much money as possible for a charity that meant a lot to him (and my Nan, who was also profoundly deaf), seems the right thing to do.
“I know he would be proud that they’re being supported and assisted in continuing their superb work within the local community.”
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Graeme has started a Blog on his quest, which you can read here...
We encourage you all to donate what you can and we extend our best wishes to Graeme on his challenge.