Sight loss charity team raises £5,000 with walk from Spurs to to Aston Villa

A group of walkers attracted the supported of celebrities and raised more than £5,000 for a sight loss charity by trekking from Tottenham Hotspur's stadium to Aston Villa FC.

Adil Ray with the team
Adil Ray with the team

The hikers, from Wolverhampton based Eye Can, were greeted by the likes of I'm a Celebrity Get Me Outta Here contestant and ex-Villa star David Ginola, and TV personality Adil Ray.

The team, some of whom are blind, followed a 120-mile route including major roads, canal towpaths and farmland, over six days before arriving at Villa Park on April 4.

Ex-Wolves and Villa star Tony Daley also among those on hand to welcome them when they arrived at Villa Park.

The walkers

Sponsored walk organiser Josh Sandhu, from Coven, was joined by Andy Kent, 39, Ranjit Chopra, 37, Nathan Richards, 36, Meena Rattu, 43, and Onkarr Sandhu, 33, on the challenging effort, supported along the way by Ricky Cheema, Guri Nandra and Sukh Dhaliwal.

"We did it to raise awareness of sight loss in the community," said Josh.

"We also raised £5,297 which will be used to employ a worker to run services on a weekly basis. We are starting up some activities such as health and shooting clubs, so the proceeds will assist us.

"The walk itself was very challenging for us, but it went really well considering that a couple of people use canes. We found that following the A roads was easier for us to navigate in some places due to muddy fields. We felt achy and had some injuries, but we're very pleased with how we got on in the end."

Josh also praised Punjabi Spurs and Punjabi Villans supporters groups for helping to promote the hike on social media.

Ex-Villa and Spurs star David Ginola, who was at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium to wave them off, said: “Having known Josh and some of the volunteers from before, it fills me with pride knowing the difference they’re making.

“Now, supporters from two of my previous clubs are coming together to help support the cause, so I was really excited to meet them before they set off and wished them well.”

Eye Can was launched 12 months ago to support people with sight loss who felt isolated as a result of the Covid pandemic lockdown.

The organisation which aims to promote independence and inclusivity has since acquired charity status and trustees include ex-Spurs manager Keith Burkinshaw and ex-Albion player Youssouf Mulumbu.

There are currently 52 members and 21 volunteers.

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