No looking back for Wigan Athletic fan who walked to Leeds for charity

Walking 58 miles from Wigan to Leeds is a gruelling enough task in its own right, but spare a thought for the one man who walked the entire route backwards!

Friday, 26th April 2019, 9:48 am
Updated Friday, 26th April 2019, 10:59 am
Keiran Crompton on his amazing backwards walk to Leeds
Keiran Crompton on his amazing backwards walk to Leeds

Around 75 ramblers set off on the epic trek from Wigan’s Euxton training ground last Wednesday, with a goal of reaching Elland Road for Latics’ Good Friday fixture against Leeds United.

Other news: Haigh Hall protestors hold 'positive meeting' with council officialsThe journey was in aid of Joseph’s Goal, the Wigan charity which raises money for research into the rare disorder NKH.

The group arrived in Leeds on time to see Latics beat Leeds 2-1, raising thousands of pounds in the process.

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But as if the task wasn’t impressive enough on its own, participant Keiran Crompton pledged to walk the entire route backwards!

He had made a bet that if Wigan scored at least three times against Aston Villa in their January clash, that he would complete the entire walk backwards. Latics ran out 3-0 victors.

And true to his word, Keiran put one foot behind the other all the way from Wigan to Leeds, sporting a guide in friend Mark Sharrock, and impressively managing to stay within 10-15 minutes of the rest of the pack.

“The truth is that I was always going to do the walk, but was just looking for something to affirm it was the right thing to do,” the 47-year-old dad said.

“When I added that I would do the walk backwards if we got three goals against Villa, I could never have guessed the impact it might have had.”

He added: “For me to have done this for a couple of days, is nothing. It’s great to get publicity for the charity, and great for me personally to do something good.

“When we finished the first day, I was in surprisingly good shape. I had no real pain, no real aches.

“The first six miles of the second day was really tough, it was all up hill leading out of Burnley.

“I wouldn’t say I was struggling, but it was difficult to get the pace up.”

Joseph’s Goal is the only UK charity raising funds for research into NKH - Non-Ketotic Hyperglycinemia, an extremely rare life-limiting genetic disorder.

The charity is named after nine-year-old Joseph Kendrick. It is so devastating that there are only around 15 children in the UK and less than 500 worldwide still living with it.