It is a bird? Is it a plane? No, its two men from Hartlepool hitch hiking 600 miles dressed as Superman

Stephen, left, and Lee with Alfie, as they get ready for their hitch hike adventure.
Stephen, left, and Lee with Alfie, as they get ready for their hitch hike adventure.

Two heroes were on the start line today to launch their epic 600-mile hitch hike adventure dressed as Superman.

Stephen Picton and Lee Wilmot were setting off at 8am to hitch hike their way across the country to raise cash for Hartlepool youngster Alfie Smith.

Lee Wilmot and Stephen Picton prepare for their hitch hike adventure.

Lee Wilmot and Stephen Picton prepare for their hitch hike adventure.

But the twist is Stephen is starting from Land’s End and Lee from John o’Groats.

The two are battling to be the first to get all the way to the other’s starting point and they can only do it through hitch hiking all the way in Superman costumes. Both men are getting backing from Mark Johnston Flooring in Raby Road.

Stephen and Lee must also carry out tasks in return for donations from the public. They’ve both got early challenges already.

Stephen told the Mail: “Someone has said they will donate £50 if I go through a food court dressed as Superman singing Amarillo.”

Someone has said they will donate £50 if I go through a food court dressed as Superman singing Amarillo

Stephen Picton

Lee said: “I have to find the biggest town centre I can possibly find, with the most people in it, and busk until I have raised £5. I get a £20 donation for that.”

But there is one common link for the two men. They both want to raise as much as possible for Alfie who is trying to raise at least £50,000 to fund a life-changing operation.

The nine-year-old, who has cerebral palsy, hopes one day to walk unaided and pain free.

This could be made possible by undergoing surgery known as selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR) but only if Alfie gets the cash.

Alfie Smith fundraising campaign aims to reach �50,000.

Alfie Smith fundraising campaign aims to reach �50,000.

Lee said the cause was totally worth it for a brave boy who deserves to have his dream come true.

“Alfie does nothing but smile and we need to raise this money as soon as possible.”

Stephen had no idea exactly how long the challenge would take but he said: “We have got wagon drivers alerted to it.”

The youngster was £17,000 short of the funds needed to reach the target which would allow the operation to go ahead.

Lee meets up with Alfie just before his journey begins.

Lee meets up with Alfie just before his journey begins.

But in the last few days, that has gone down further after Freemasons from the Hartlepool Lodge kickstarted a fundraising campaign.

After contacting other lodges in the area, they raised £3,000 for the youngster,

The £50,000 would fund the surgery and at least two years of essential physiotherapy and after care.

Any additional funds will be used to fund specialist equipment and a third year of physiotherapy.

People can follow the progress of Stephen and Lee via the ‘hitch hike to help alfie walk’ Facebook page.

To donate to the cause, visit www.gofundme.com/37jmrq8

A selfie before the big adventure for Stephen and Alfie.

A selfie before the big adventure for Stephen and Alfie.