Jeff Stelling hits halfway mark on marathon challenge after smashing £200,000 fundraising target

Jeff Stelling, left, Paul Merson and Hartlepool United chief executive Russ Green on the Men United March on Friday, March 25, 2016.

Jeff Stelling, left, Paul Merson and Hartlepool United chief executive Russ Green on the Men United March on Friday, March 25, 2016.

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Soccer Saturday star Jeff Stelling says he is relieved to have reached the halfway mark in his mammoth charity walk in aid of prostate cancer.

The Sky Sports presenter’s Men United March is walking 10 marathons in 10 days from Hartlepool’s Victoria Park ground to Wembley, to raise hundreds of thousands of pounds to raise awareness of the killer illness.

Jeff Stelling.

Jeff Stelling.

The walkers have already smashed the initial target of £200,000.

Yesterday, Jeff and fellow walkers, including Pools chief executive Russ Green, reached the Midlands and walked from Derby County’s Pride Park to Burton Albion and then onto the two Nottingham clubs, Forest and County.

Speaking to the Mail, Hartlepool lad Jeff said: “To be honest I’ve been on my knees for the first two or three days because it’s been that hard.

“But people said after that it would get easier and even though I didn’t believe them at the time that’s how it’s turned out.

“I think it’s a bit like running a marathon in that once you get past the first few miles you find it OK.

“But I’m not taking anything for granted because we are only halfway and there’s plenty more walking left.”

Jeff added that the support from the general public has been a huge boost on each of the legs of the walk.

“At the moment we’ve got about £216,000 in but there is more to come,” he said.

“We’ve been getting cheques from all over, from football clubs and well-wishers.

“Some people have been just shoving money in our hands.

“Hopefully, we should cruise past £250,000 which would be brilliant.”

Jeff was yesterday joined by Soccer Saturday pal and ex-Arsenal, Middlesbrough and England star Paul Merson as well as former Derby County and Nottingham Forest midfielder Archie Gemmill for part of the walk, while he also met Burton Albion boss Nigel Clough.

Paul said: “What Jeff and Russ are doing is just phenomenal.

“The money they’ve got in already is unbelievable.”