Chorley lad and three friends drive nearly 3,000 miles visiting all 92 football stadiums in six days to raise money for suicide prevention charity

A teenager from Chorley and his three friends have given the well-coined 'lads trip' another meaning by raising over £10,000 in the process.

Thursday, 28th October 2021, 3:47 pm
Updated Thursday, 28th October 2021, 3:48 pm
The four boys on their trip.

Football-mad Sixth Form students Westholme School’s Head Boy 18-year-old Ben Middleton from Chorley and fellow Westholme students 17-year-olds Jake Sharrocks from Burnley and Finlay Shepherd from Preston along with their 17-year-old London friend Cornelius McGrath are spending their autumn half-term break driving nearly 3,000 miles around England, visiting every one of the 92 English professional football stadiums to raise money and awareness for suicide prevention charity Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM).

The boys began their trip on Monday, ticking off 23 clubs from Blackburn Rovers to Leeds United in their first day.

Ben, a Manchester United fan, said: “We all really missed football during the pandemic, lots of people struggled without the escapism that watching, supporting or playing the beautiful game provides and we decided to do this to celebrate the positive impact football has on so many people’s lives and at the same time, raise money for CALM, a mental health charity leading a movement against suicide”.

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The four boys on their trip.

QPR supporter Cornelius added: “We’re determined to clock up the miles, visit each of the 92 clubs by Saturday 30th October and raise as much money as possible for CALM. We want to help raise awareness of the work that CALM do on their phone lines and webchats every day of the year, supporting people who are struggling and need someone to talk to. Day three and we’ve already raised over £10,000.”

Expressing his gratitude to the boys CEO of CALM Simon Gunning said: “We’re grateful that Ben, Jake, Finlay and Cornelius have given up their half-term to travel the length and breadth of the country to raise funds for our life-saving services. It's thanks to our incredible supporters, who raise vital funds and awareness, that we continue to be there for people who need us, no matter what.

On average every week in the UK 125 people take their own lives; that's 125 individuals who couldn’t see a way out. At CALM, we believe there is always hope, always a reason for living. If you’re struggling, CALM’S helpline and webchat are open from 5pm until midnight, 365 days a year. Call CALM on 0800 58 58 58 or chat to our trained helpline staff online. No matter who you are or what you're going through, it's free, anonymous and confidential.”

The boys plan to end their journey at Manchester United this Saturday.

The four boys on their trip.

To date and with one day left to go they have raised £10,180. Well done lads!

The four boys on their trip.