Ipswich: Fundraising fans in a league of their own as they bid to visit every league football club in just seven days

A TRIO of intrepid Town fans are hoping to turn tragedy into something positive by visiting all 92 football league clubs – in just seven days.

Lifelong fan Chris Wade and his partner Becky Shaw are embarking on the epic challenge to raise money in memory of their 15-month-old son Tyler, who died in his sleep earlier this year.

The couple, with Chris’s father Paul, will clock up 2,274 miles to help fund research into the reasons behind cot death.

They will start at Gillingham on August 20 and visit every Premiership, Championship and Football League ground, finishing at Southend’s Roots Hall a week later.

Their longest journey is the 122 miles between Plymouth Argyle and Bristol City while the shortest will be the mile between Liverpool and Everton, and a similar distance between Nottingham Forest and Notts County, their city neighbours.

Mr Wade, 23, whose first Town game was against Coventry in 1993, said: “In the 15 short months that he lived, Tyler was such a happy baby. He was a proper little smiler.

“He lit up every room he went in, and we know his star is lighting up the sky. We wanted to do something for a while – he loved his football. We just sort of came up with the idea last Sunday. Then by the Tuesday we had the Just Giving website up and running.”

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The trio, who are hoping to rake in thousands of pounds for the charity Funding the Study of Infant Death, will even sleep in their car to maximise their fundraising.

Ms Shaw, 21, said: “No parent should have to outlive their children and it would be nice if they could find out what causes cot death so other parents don’t have to go through this.”

The fundraisers were at Portman Road to launch their challenge yesterday – the club has donated a pennant signed by the first team squad, which will be sold at auction.

A spokeswoman for Ipswich Town said: “Chris, Becky and their family are undertaking a remarkable challenge in Tyler’s memory, turning a real tragedy into something positive that will help young children and their families for generations to come.

“Ipswich Town Football Club would like to wish them every success with their seven-day journey to visit all 92 Premier and Football League grounds, and with their fundraising endeavours.”

To support their fundraising drive visit www.justgiving.com/tylershaw

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