Walkers follow in dad’s footsteps

Bob Atherton
Bob Atherton

SEVEN hardy fundraisers took 17 hours to do a mammoth walk to boost a charity that helped a loved one.

Martin Atherton, 41, and his sister Sarah Jane, 35, were among a group of walkers who tackled the 42-mile Lyke Wake Walk across the North Yorkshire Moors from Osmotherley to Ravenscar.

left to right: Tim Hickman, Thomas Davies, Martin Atherton, Sarah Jane Atherton, David Leigh, Kenny Lee, and David Taylor on the Lyke Wake Walk.

left to right: Tim Hickman, Thomas Davies, Martin Atherton, Sarah Jane Atherton, David Leigh, Kenny Lee, and David Taylor on the Lyke Wake Walk.

The feat was completed in memory of their father, Bob Atherton, who passed away in 2007, and to say thank you to Macmillan Cancer Support who cared for him.

The pair have been raising money for the cause through taking part in the Great North Run ever since their father died and have raised at least £5,000 over the years.

The siblings, from Peterlee, were joined by Kenny Lee, who is married to Martin and Sarah’s cousin Ann-Marie, as well as their friends, David Taylor, Thomas Davies, Tim Hickman and David Leigh.

Pals Frank Scott and Ben Davies drove a back-up van and met the group at various check points along the route.

Martin, a gas fitter who is married to Jane, 37, a nurse at the University Hospital of North Tees, in Stockton, and lives in Chester Place in Peterlee, said: “The reason I organised the walk was to raise money for Macmillan.

“My sister and I have been doing the Great North Run and raising money for Macmillan ever since they took care of my dad.

“This year I thought we could do something different and as my dad used to do the Lyke Wake Walk quite regularly I thought we could follow in his footsteps and take on this new challenge.

“It took us 17 hours to complete the walk and we were all worn out at the end.”

The walkers set off at 7pm and reached their end-point at noon the next day.

Martin, who is dad to Rebecca, 16, and three-year-old Jessica, said once all the sponsor money is collected, the group hope to have raised £1,500.

Bob, who became a welder after leaving the Army in 1972, was diagnosed with a brain tumour in April 2006 and was given two years to live.

Sadly he lost his battle nine months later.

Bob, who left behind widow Mary and was also dad to Robert, 32, received radiotherapy at Newcastle General Hospital and spent a short time at Hartlepool & District Hospice.

But he wanted to be at home and Macmillan supplied a hospital bed so he could be with his family.

There is still time to sponsor the walkers by visiting www.hartlepoolmail.co.uk and selecting the link at the bottom of this story.