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Teen issues support plea for 92 football club marathon

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: March 31, 2014

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A YOUNGSTER is hoping to help raise awareness of an illness that has left his mother stricken for the past 13 years by backing a charity event which aims to visit all 92 English football league grounds inside 92 hours.

James Smith, of Genista Close, Stapenhill, contacted the Mail to throw his support behind the efforts of the group of football fans undertaking the mammoth challenge in aid of Invest in ME.

The team, from Bristol, are due to reach Burton Albion’s Pirelli Stadium on Saturday, April 19, and are using the challenge to try to boost the levels of funding and research that the condition currently gets.

The 16-year-old told the Mail: “My mum has had ME for 13 years and has had to try and cope with it herself.

“She is hopeful that Invest in ME will be able to find the root cause of the problem and find suitable treatments.”

The group decided to undertake the challenge after revealing that a childhood friend has been off work with the illness for more than seven years.

It is estimated that more than 250,000 people are impacted by the condition currently in the UK. The predominant symptom of ME is usually severe fatigue and malaise following mental or physical activity, leaving sufferers almost incapacitated at times.

Team leader Mike Harley said: “The idea is to reach the grounds at a time where we can give out information and maximise on raising the profile of ME, the need for research into the illness and the Invest in ME charity.

“It’s going to be a gruelling challenge but one as football fans we’re all looking forward to.”

The team will be starting the event in Plymouth on April 16 and finish up at Middlesbrough on Monday, April 21, having completed the 2,700-mile car challenge.

More than 50 clubs across all four divisions are helping to publicise the event.

The group revealed that they hope to stop off at the Pirelli Stadium at around 2.33pm before heading over to Derby County’s iPro stadium for 3pm on April 19.

More information is available online at www.92in92.blogspot.co.uk or www.justgiving.com/teams/strobl

The team’s efforts can also be followed by heading to www.facebook.com/92forME and on Twitter via the @92forME username.

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