67-year-old Fulwood man’s 90km challenge for Rosemere Cancer Foundation

John Farnden

A Fulwood man is preparing to follow in the footsteps of medieval pilgrims by walking part of the old Celtic Way to raise money for Rosemere Cancer Foundation.


It will take 67-year-old John Farnden four days to walk the 90km from Glastonbury to Stonehenge as part of a guided walking party.

For the last two days, Mark Corney from TV’s ‘time team’ will join them.

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He will be giving John and other walkers some history lessons on the route, which in full stretches from
Strumble Head in Pembrokeshire to St Michael’s Mount in Cornwall.

When John, who works for the Department of Work and Pensions, sets off in August it will be his sixth consecutive annual fundraising challenge for Rosemere Cancer Foundation, which he supports in memory of his son-in-law Ric Clark who died of stomach cancer in December 2015 aged just 35-years-old.

He left his bike to John, whose first challenge was to ride it from London to Paris.

John followed up a year later by cycling from Paris to Geneva before joining a Rosemere Cancer Foundation expedition to walk a section of the Great Wall of China in 2018 with his daughter and Ric’s widow Leonie.

In 2019, it was back on the bike to cycle from London to Amsterdam and then to Brussels.

Last year, to mark what would have been Ric’s 40th birthday, John had booked a trek to Machu Picchu but with the coronavirus pandemic cancelling travel to South America, he walked the full 23 miles of the Guild
Wheel instead with Leonie.

Leonie and Ric’s sons, his grandsons Oscar (12) and Sid (11), completed the first 16 miles with them.

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John said: “I intend to keep my annual challenges up for as long as I continue to be fit and my doctor signs the medical declaration form!

“I will be 68 in September. Although I still cycle for pleasure, the long distance cycle challenges are a bit too much for me now so my future challenges will, like this one, be on foot.

“Next year, I am hoping to return to the Great Wall of China as that was such an amazing experience I want to go back and have found a trip that includes new parts of the wall for me to walk.”

Over the years, John’s challenges have raised nearly £7,000 for Rosemere Cancer Foundation, boosted by him also supporting the charity’s Cross Bay and Walk in the Dark annual walk events.

This year’s Cross Bay Walk will take place on Sunday, 6 June and John will again be among the walkers crossing Morecambe Bay from Arnside Pier to Kents Banks.

To support John, click here.

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