VIDEO: Sheffield Steelers officials smash fundraising target after completing gruelling charity walk to Belfast

Walking 94 miles in just four days and a £20,000 fundraising target - it certainly wasn't an easy task but that's exactly what four big-hearted Sheffield Steelers officials have just achieved.

Sunday, 25th February 2018, 10:58 am
Updated Sunday, 25th February 2018, 11:00 am
Simmsey and Friends pictured at the end of their walk from Sheffield to Belfast. Pictured are: Blake McCaughey (front), with sister Pixie, and (left to right) Andrew McCaughey, Dave Simms, Neil Edwards, Christine McCaughey, Elliott Hall and Dean Woolley.

Steelers' announcer Dave Simms, match night co-ordinator Neil Edwards, photographer Dean Woolley and 50-50 ticket volunteer Elliott Hall completed a walk from Sheffield to Belfast to raise cash in memory of former fan Amy Usher and for a wheelchair fund for young Belfast Giants supporter Blake McCaughey.

And as if the journey itself wasn't difficult enough - they drove back mid-way through their challenge to be at the Steelers game against Cardiff in midweek and rather than coming back to South Yorkshire to put their feet up, they will take part in the supporters' club Five Weirs' Walk this afternoon (Sunday) and then carry out their normal duties at the team's game against Fife Flyers.

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The quartet have so far raised more than £21,000, which will be split between Weston Park Teenage Cancer Trust, in memory of Steelers fan Amy who died of throat cancer in 2015, and will help pay for a new wheelchair for 10-year-old Blake, who has a unique genetic disorder which causes severe muscle weakness.

Mr Simms said: "It was very tough going. We should have known better because we did a walk from my home near Birmingham to Sheffield three or four years ago but that was a little easier than this.

"I know Sheffield was built on seven hills but it was really tough. On the first day we had done around 20 miles when we got to Winnats Pass and we'd still got to walk up it."

The group have had donations from ice hockey fans, players and coaches across the country and passed their £20,000 target before they got off the ferry in Belfast on Saturday.

They were met by Blake and his parents Christine and Andrew for the final few miles to the Giants' SSE Arena - and, once again as a sign of their commitment, were unable to see the whole game between the Giants and Steelers as they had to get the ferry back to England so they could be at the Supporters' Club Walk this afternoon.

Mr Simms said: "There have been times when we've thought what on Earth are we doing and you only usually see other people doing things like this but for four days we have been those other people.

"The first walk we did was for Amy and she was very special to us all and with this walk not only have we supported Weston Park in her memory and the fantastic work that's done there, we have been able to help a young Belfast Giants' fan.

"He is a cracking kid and we're delighted to be able to help. Around 95 per cent of the donations have come from Sheffield hockey fans so it just shows what a great bunch of supporters we've got in the city."

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