Hartlepool United manager’s Kilimanjaro trek raises £100,000 for charity

Colin Cooper and his fellow trekkers celebrate reaching the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro in June
Colin Cooper and his fellow trekkers celebrate reaching the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro in June

A TREK to the summit of one of the world’s tallest mountains led by Hartlepool United boss Colin Cooper has raised more than £100,000 for charity.

Cooper organised the arduous climb of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania in aid of a charity he founded in memory of his son Finlay who died in a tragic choking accident.

He was joined by right-hand man Craig Hignett and Hartlepool-born Sky Sports presenter Jeff Stelling along with 10 other supporters.

The numbers have been crunched and have revealed that the adventure in June topped the £100,000 mark.

The total was announced at a celebratory lunch by Finlay Cooper Fund accountant Nick Waites.

Cooper said: “I think we were all just blown away when we heard what had been raised.

“It’s felt a little bit like The X-Factor or something since we came back in June because nobody knew how much we raised and it’s taken a long time to pull everything together and collect in the money.

“Nick has been working his backside off to get the total and sort out all the Gift Aid and everything that goes with it so to hear we’d hit £100,000 was just amazing really.”

The Finlay Cooper Fund was set up in 2006 by Colin and his wife Julie, after the tragic death of their son Finlay just before his second birthday. The charity has raised thousands of pounds for children’s charities all around the region.

Cooper added: “We’ve decided that the first £50,000 of the money raised from Kilimanjaro will go to children’s charities of the choice of the 13 people who climbed the mountain.

“We wanted to do that as a special thank you to everyone for putting themselves through that back in the summer.

“It was quite an emotional moment when we announced that but hopefully we can all look back on what was an amazing experience and think it has been truly worthwhile.

“We’re all just so thankful to everyone who supported us, sponsored us or followed us during the trek – it’s incredible to have raised so much.”

The money raised from the trek takes the Finlay Cooper Fund’s total to over £350,000 in the last seven years.

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