Apr 18 2012 by Michael Pringle, Airdrie & Coatbridge
Beefy Great British Walk
IT WAS a stroll in the park for Neil Lennon as the Celtic manager joined Sir Ian Botham on the Scottish leg of Beefy’s Great British Walk
The England cricketing legend was on the first of his walks to help children suffering from leukaemia.
The former test team captain walked from Glasgow to Drumpellier Park in Coatbridge where he was joined by the Hoops boss and dozens of others for the final four miles.
Sir Ian will walk around 160 miles in 10 different cities across the UK with the purpose to raise money for the Leukaemia and Lymphoma research charity.
The Celtic manager took the time to pose for photographs and sign autographs while he waited for Sir Ian to arrive. Speaking prior to the walk, he said: “Ian’s a big hero of mine and obviously the money raised goes a long way to curing a lot of people. The progress that’s been made in the last number of years has been unbelievable.”
When asked about his former team mate Stilian Petrov who was diagnosed with leukaemia a couple of weeks ago, Neil admitted: “It’s still quite raw but to do this today will be a real privilege.”
Sir Ian, who is nicknamed Beefy, started raising cash with his walks back in 1985 when he walked from John O’Groats to Land’s End. He was moved to get involved after receiving hospital treatment in Taunton for a broken bone.
Sir Ian said: “I saw four young lads in the children’s ward which I had to go through to get to the physio department.
“The doctor said they had leukaemia and they were going to struggle, and over the next six weeks of treatment sure enough all four of them had passed away, so that all brought it home to me.”
Rebecca Foley and Ben Magee, who are both 4-years-old and fighting leukaemia, joined the walk at the Coatbridge park last Thursday.
Glasgow City players were among the others who took part, including Emma Fernon from Glenmavis and Christie Murray from Airdrie, while players from Drumpellier Cricket Club provided a guard of honour with their bats.