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Last Updated: Saturday, 11 October, 2003, 09:18 GMT 10:18 UK
Last leg of Botham charity walk
Ian Botham
Ian Botham has found a lot of support along the way
Cricketing legend Ian Botham is to finish his second marathon walk in Wales to raise funds for a new children's hospital.

The sports personality will complete his latest 210-mile walk across south east Wales in the company of Charlotte Church, one of the patrons of the Noah's Ark Appeal which is backing the hospital being built in Cardiff.

The teenage singer will join Botham on the last two miles of his walk from Newport Rugby Club and across the city.

It will be almost a repeat of the last time Botham undertook a charity walk for the hospital appeal - from Machynlleth to Cardiff Bay - 18 months ago.

Only then Hollywood star Catherine Zeta Jones was in the finishing line-up for the fundraising extravaganza.

That marathon raised almost 1m and Botham, who has strong connections with Wales through his son Liam playing rugby for Cardiff, promised that this would be the end of his charity walking days.

Last time both Charlotte Church and Catherine Zeta Jones joined Botham
Last time both Charlotte Church and Catherine Zeta Jones joined Botham

But although the Noah's Ark Appeal reached its initial 5m target earlier this year to pay for the building work at its site at the University Hospital of Wales, another 1.5m is still needed to equip it.

So Botham, supported by wife Kathy and an army of fundraisers and organisers, stepped forward once again.

During his latest trek he has walked - at almost a sprint - from Chepstow right round the south Wales Valleys, receiving cash donations and lots of support

He also found time to hand a cheque for 1,500 to Paralympic table tennis player Justin Furlong, 23,from Abercwmboi, near Aberdare to pay for a streamlined wheel chair.

Poignant

Along the way Botham has been accompanied by sporting greats including rugby hero JPR Williams.

Earlier in the week he stopped for a poignant ceremony - to lay a wreath in Aberfan, in memory of those who died in the tragedy there nearly forty years ago.

In October 1966 part of the coal waste tip above the south Wales village slipped, engulfing Pantglas Junior School.

The cricketer's trek has been fuelled by his favourite Indian curries.

The food order he requested included 100 tandoori chicken dishes, 200 samosas, 300 onion bhajis, 200 Pakora, 250 spring rolls, and 100 King prawn tandooris.

The manager of Botham's favourite restaurant in Doncaster even joined him on part of his walk





LINKS TO MORE WALES STORIES


 

SEE ALSO:
Botham back on the road
03 Oct 03  |  Wales
Botham walks valleys for hospital
07 Apr 03  |  South East Wales
Botham walk raises close to 1m
13 May 02  |  Wales


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