A group of Reading FC fans are making the 70 miles journey to the South-Coast for the match with AFC Bournemouth tomorrow, by foot.

Arranged by Walk and Talk, this is the fourth event organised around Royals matches, with the three previous walks involving the home of Fulham, Craven Cottage.

Reading Chronicle:

Setting on from the Select Car Leasing Stadium at 2pm this afternoon (Monday, March 14), they are walking through the night, hoping to arrive at the Vitality Stadium at 5pm tomorrow (Tuesday, March 15), just under two hours before the two teams kick off at 7.45pm.

The walk is to raise awareness of mental health, particularly among young men who might struggle to speak out.

Johnny Hunt, a nurse who lives in Wicklow, Ireland, but was born and raised in Reading, is embarking on his sixth awareness walk in total, but says this will be the toughest yet.

Speaking ahead of his flight on the morning of the walk, he said: “I was up at 5am to get the coach up to Dublin airport and crack on but that’s what it means to me.

“I’ve done these before, but it is nice to do totally different and challenge myself but do it for a good reason and get it [mental health awareness] into everyday conversation and if it helps one person then brilliant.

“I’ve done three with the walk and talk lads over in England from Reading to Fulham and I did two over in Ireland on my own for See Change, a charity I’m an ambassador for, mental health awareness in Ireland, from Wicklow to Dublin and Wexford to Wicklow so 60km, but this is the full monty it’s 24 hours, 70 miles, I’ve never done that far.

“It’s about making a difference, especially the last couple of years with Covid. As a nurse it has been full on, stressful, tiring, walking that distance gives me something to focus on and hopefully we get there and smash Bournemouth 5-0!”

People are welcome to join the walk at different intervals, with Bramley Station at Tadley for 5pm this evening (Monday, March 14) and The Railway Pub, Christchurch for 2.30pm tomorrow (Tuesday, March 15) convenient places to start or finish legs of the walk.


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