THREE Doncaster Rovers stars will be swapping their football boots for walking boots next week.
Defender James O’Connor and midfielders Mark Wilson and James Coppinger will tackle the 62-mile Inca Trail in the Andes in the latest in a series of fundraising efforts on behalf of the club’s chosen charity, the NSPCC.
“It’s been a long time in the planning but it’s finally here and everything has gone surprisingly smoothly,” said Wilson. “The whole year has gone well and all the various initiatives have been well supported. I don’t know how much we’ve raised yet. The target was £50,000 so if we get near to that figure I’ll be delighted given the economic climate. In addition to the money we’ve helped raise, we’ve definitely raised the profile of the NSPCC and as a club we’ve got closer to the local community.”
One of the fittest players on the club’s books, Wilson says he hasn’t done much specific training for the trek, which will see the Rovers’ party scaling heights of over 10,000 ft, but is confident of completing the gruelling walk.
James Coppinger, who won a number of the various end-of-season awards, said he needed little persuading when first sounded out by Wilson.
“It’s a great cause and I’m looking forward to it,” he told The Star. “I used to go walking in the Lakes when I was younger and I’ve done a bit of hill walking in recent weeks to break my boots in.
“I’ve been involved in most of the other fund-raising efforts and I’ve enjoyed them all - especially the nude calendar and the Come Dine With Me. I’m looking forward to getting to know the people I don’t know during the next five days or so.”