Celebrities take part in 'ice cold' challenge for neurone disease research

Famous faces have been dunking their feet in buckets of ice after former Preston footballer Lenny Johnrose set the 'ice foot challenge' to raise money for motor neurone disease research.

By James Holt
Saturday, 17th April 2021, 7:00 am

Preston-born Lenny was diagnosed with motor neurone disease four years ago and began encouraging people to take part in his #IceFoot92 challenge, to highlight and help towards the MND Association’s care and research work.

In a bid to raise funds for the work done by the MND Association he asked people to film themselves standing in a bucket of ice water for 92 seconds and to pass the challenge on to friends.

After first challenging former teammates and the football family to put themselves through what he described as “pure hell”, the charitable trend soon started to catch on, with popular TV personalities now also getting involved to raise the profile of the disease.

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ITV's Granada reporter Elaine Wilcox was among those taking part in the chilly challenge, along with Charlotte Hawkins, Ben Shepherd and Richard Arnold of Good Morning Britain and Sam Nixon from presenting duo Sam and Mark.

Lenny's Twitter page is now inundated with retweets of people getting involved and then nominating three other friends to take part in the challenge, to raise money for MND.

The ex-footballer, 51, started his playing career with Blackburn Rovers and had a short spell on loan with Preston North End in 1992, making three appearances and scoring one goal.

He went on to play for Hartlepool, Bury, Burnley and Swansea, playing more than 500 games.

Good Morning Britain's Charlotte Hawkins and Richard Arnold were among the familiar TV personalities doing the challenge

And he is now encouraging people to submerge their feet in ice for one and a half minutes to 'do something positive for people with MND'.

Lenny said: “As a player, I’d ice foot injuries. I’m asking people to stand in a bucket of ice water for 92 seconds – one second for each club in the league – I can promise you it’s pure hell.

“If you manage it, you get to nominate your mates so it’s a great chance to set them up. This is my way of doing something positive for people with MND, now and into the future.

“There is some research suggesting a link between sport and MND so football seemed like the perfect platform to not only raise funds but raise awareness of the disease.”

Former Preston footballer Lenny Johnrose set the 'ice foot challenge' to raise money for motor neurone disease research

MND is an uncommon condition that affects the brain and nerves which causes weakness that gets worse over time, according to the NHS.

There is currently no cure for MND and the cause of the disease has not yet been found. The MND Association continue to provide support as they try to find the cure with funding and donations.

Lenny aims to raise £92,000 for the MND Association through his Just Giving page.

He added: "Being diagnosed with motor neurone disease was hard, very hard. For almost a year, my wife and I kept it to ourselves. Thinking we could deal with this awful diagnosis without help, without support, without anybody finding out was a big mistake.

"Since going public, the wealth of support that I have received has been overwhelming. The football "community" of former players and managers, and supporters have gathered together to help raise awareness and raise funds for myself and my family."

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