PCA PRESS RELEASE
Professional Cricketers’ Association President Graham Gooch surpasses his £20,000 fundraising target.
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Professional Cricketers’ Association President Graham Gooch has surpassed his £20,000 fundraising target after completing the Wainwright Coast to Coast walk after a gruelling 13-day hike from St Bees in Cumbria to Robin Hood’s Bay in North Yorkshire.
The former England captain took the challenge in an attempt to raise funds for the Professional Cricketers’ Trust (formerly known as PCA Benevolent Fund) as well as his own scholarship. Targeting £20,000 to be split across both charities, ‘Goochie’ finished the walk having raised over his intended target with funds currently standing at £21,3311.00, which he hopes can be added to over the few weeks with donations still open.
The Professional Cricketers’ Trust is professional cricket’s leading charity and was created to support the lifelong health and wellbeing of PCA members and their immediate families.
The Trust looks out for players throughout their active careers and long afterwards, funding life-changing medical assistance, crisis helplines and educational programmes in England and Wales.
Gooch has run his own Scholarship programme for fifteen years under the umbrella of the Essex Cricket Foundation and is delighted all his hard work paid off to support his two chosen charities.
“You put the effort in because you believe in the cause and you want to make a difference to people. We built some strong friendships on the walk and it was very enjoyable, it was worth all the effort and hard work,” said Gooch.
“I started my Scholarship to put something back into the game and then supporting the Professional Cricketers’ Trust and how they dearly hold the welfare of the players and the educational courses and looking after past players too is very important.
“It was great to be supporting two worthwhile causes.”
The 193-mile trek came with plenty of up’s and down’s for ‘Goochie’ and the rest of his group with Julia Heley, David Stehr and James Davis completing the full walk. Inclement weather is always expected on the Coast to Coast walk, but ‘Storm Ali’ which occurred on day three was less expected.
Finishing the challenge by dipping his toes into the North Sea at Robin Hood’s Bay, the PCA President spoke of his ‘relief’ that his body can now relax and the 6am starts are now over.
“Day two and three were the hardest days, it was very up and down in the Lakes, much more severe climbs,” said Gooch.
“We caught some of those gale-force winds from Storm Ali and they were really tough days, we were high up and almost blown over with the driving rain as well.
“The last two days were really hard because they were both 18 mile days.
“The descent was tougher for me as it puts real pressure on your knees as you are always breaking your weight and after a career with lots of wear and tear – that’s what puts the pressure on your body.
“For me, 12-mile limit is a nice distance and you can cope ok but once you go above 12 miles for me my body starts to ache feet start to hurt and everything hurts for those last six miles.”
As well as trekking 193-miles in 13 days, Gooch managed to host an awards evening at Patterdale Cricket Club as well as hosting a Q & A at the Kings Arms in Shap before a cricket-themed pub quiz with several raffle prices up for grabs.
“We had a few people come up and support which was really nice.
“Paul Grayson came along and I played with him and he then took over as coach from me so it was nice to do some of the walk with him and his wife Alison.
“Patterdale CC got in touch with me beforehand so it was great to be involved with them and present a few awards.
“Their local school came along and they joined us for about half a mile which was really nice, the kids loved it and it was a nice touch.
“It was great to see so many people in the Kings Arms at Shap. I am very grateful for them to the money they raised, they donated the accommodation costs to the charity which was very kind of them.”
Graham would like to thank all who have supported his challenge so far and those who joined him at some point during the 193 miles.
Guest walkers: Nigel Chapman, Kevin Palmer, David Johnson, Paul Grayson, Alison Grayson, Andrew Rein, Michael Dobias, Dan Feist, Pat Ward, Martyn Doe, Megan Janman, Beth Dodd and Kelly Castle.