Pat preparing for charity walk

WHILE most footballers will be putting their feet up during June, in anticipation of another gruelling season ahead, Colchester United defender Pat Baldwin will be preparing for a charity walk.

Carl Marston

WHILE most footballers will be putting their feet up during June, in anticipation of another gruelling season ahead, Colchester United defender Pat Baldwin will be preparing for a charity walk.

Long-standing U's centre-half Baldwin will be taking part in a Three Peaks Challenge Walk, to raise money for the Teenage Cancer Trust, a cause that is very dear to the heart of the League One club.

Baldwin was of course a part of the U's successful squad during the Phil Parkinson era, when young U's fan Emily Begg was a big supporter of the Essex club.


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Emily died of leukaemia in November, 2006, the year that the U's went up to the Championship for the first time in their history. Since then, her parents Stuart and Colleen have raised substantial funds for the Teenage Cancer Trust at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge.

U's fans have helped to raise more than �30,000 for this terrific cause, and it is hoped that a lot more will be raised on next month's charity walk, which begins on June 26.

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Baldwin will tackle the three highest peaks in Scotland, England and Wales - Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon - with a group of friends.

“My girlfriend, Alexandra, has been organising the event with work colleagues at the Skew Graphic Design company,” explained Baldwin yesterday.

“We will be doing the walk over three days, rather than just 24 hours, because some of the group are not strong walkers, and we will be sharing the driving.

“I had my last day of training at the club today, after which I have my individual programme to follow, which includes a lot of running, which should help me with the Three Peaks Challenge.

“We are also off on holiday to America, to spend two weeks in New England, so we'll be able to do a lot of walks then as well,” added Baldwin.

All the U's players warmed to the support of Emily Begg, who followed the team so avidly from 2002 and throughout her illness, whenever her treatments allowed.

Former Chelsea trainee Baldwin, who has been with the U's since the summer of 2002, had been keen to contribute to the charity in Emily's memory.

Fund-raising exploits over the years have included the U's promotion-winning squad shaving their heads, recording a version of the song - “Up the U's” - with local bands “Koopa” and Special Duties,” and also a big charity bike ride.

Baldwin continued: “The club has a long-standing association with this very worthy cause, as we remember Emily Begg and her support of the club during her time with us.

“Emily was a great girl and she went to a lot of games during her lifetime. That's why the Teenage Cancer Trust is very close to my heart, and that of the club.

“As a result, I decided I would like to raise money for Emily's memory and for those funds to go to the amazing work that her parents have done for Addenbrooke's Hospital.”

Anyone who would like to pledge money to this cause, by supporting Pat's walk, should visit either the Colchester United FC official website or else logon direct to www.justgiving.com/patbaldwin

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