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St Helens Swansea to St Helens Merseyside walk commences

Last Sunday at 10am saw the launch of the "The Scarlet Gooseberry's Stroll", a charity walk for the Steve Prescott Foundation, from the St Helen's rugby union and cricket ground in Swansea to the new St Helens Rugby League ground in Merseyside.
St Helens Swansea to St Helens Merseyside walk commences
by NRL

Last Sunday at 10am saw the launch of the "The Scarlet Gooseberry's Stroll", a charity walk for the Steve Prescott Foundation, from the St Helen's rugby union and cricket ground in Swansea to the new St Helens Rugby League ground in Merseyside.

Welshman Mickey "Griff" Griffiths, aka The Scarlet Gooseberry on Rugby League forums, was seen off on his 190-mile eight day trek by South Wales Scorpions and Wales star Christiaan Roets, the Scorpions' mascot Sting, Scorpions Supporters Club chairman Andy Birchall and his companion Allan "Stan" McKeown, who will be assisting him and driving his gear to and from each pitstop.

McKeown ran the Great North Run last week for the Anthony Nolan Trust last week so he can be excused for not joining his friend in walking the mammoth trek. Sting, the only female mascot in Rugby League, did manage to walk to the end of the first street!

Griffiths explains exactly why he is walking such a distance.

"I'm walking to raise money for the Steve Prescott Foundation who in turn raise money for Christie Cancer Hospital in Manchester, and Try Assist, the Rugby League Benevolent Fund," he said. "I wanted to give something back to the local community as they've been good to me since I moved there from North Wales ten years ago.

"It's a fact of life unfortunately that living there you will know someone who has been treated at Christie so that seemed an obvious choice.

"Rugby League has given me some of the best moments of my life following Wales and Wigan so I wanted to give something back to that as well."

The Steve Prescott Foundation, was founded by the man himself who played Rugby League for St Helens, Hull, Wakefield and Ireland and was a Great Britain Lions Tourist.

In September 2006, Steve was diagnosed with Pseudomyxoma Peritonei a rare form of Cancer, he was told that he would not see his two children grow up; he was given months to live. He underwent a major operation in Basingstoke Hospital and tumours were removed from his abdomen. After surgery Steve was transferred to The Christie Hospital in Manchester for chemotherapy treatment to try to control the remaining disease. He now devotes much of his time by undertaking various arduous challenges to raise funds in his own name.

"I've raised over &;2,000 so far," Griffiths adds. "Hopefully with more publicity through papers, website, Facebook and Twitter, I can get over &;3,000.

"The last leg of the walk from Warrington to St Helens is more accessible for people who are not as bonkers as me and other Rugby League fans will be joining me. They're going to get sponsored and so far over 20 people are joining me. If they can raise &;100 each and I know some have raised more, then it should go past &;5,000 in total.

"I'd like to thank South Wales Scorpions and the South Wales Evening Post newspaper for helping me promote it and the hotels who have donated the rooms so generously - "The Tudor Court Hotel" in Swansea, "The Firs" at Hay on Wye and the Chief Executive of "Premier Inn" hotel group."

South Wales Scorpions and Wales international Christiaan Roets said: "I think it's great that Griff and everyone who joins him on the walk, for supporting people who really need it and raising money for people that are affected by cancer and other illnesses. It's an awesome effort.

"I take my hat off to Griff. I've never done anything like that. I'm in Wales training for the Four Nations at the moment which itself is very tough but I couldn't imagine walking the whole length of Wales and more. Mentally you have to be really strong which is like people with cancer, they have to be mentally strong to overcome it. I really hope it's a success and that he raises a lot of money for the causes."

You can show your support for the walk by 'liking' his walk's Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/thescarletgooseberrystroll.

Please go to http://www.facebook.com/thescarletgooseberrystroll or to http://www.steveprescottfoundation.co.uk for more information and go to http://www.justgiving.com/scarletgooseberry to donate.


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