Big name celebs appear in Leeds United fan’s charity video

Martin Hywood
Martin Hywood
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Leeds United fan and muscular dystrophy sufferer Martin Hywood is aiming to raise thousands of pounds for charity – with the help of an all-star team of celebrities.

Martin, 43, has recruited a dozen famous faces to appear in a video that tells his story and encourages people to donate to Muscular Dystrophy UK.

Martin Hywood with Ralph Ineson.

Martin Hywood with Ralph Ineson.

The well-known names featured include football legend Alan Shearer, TV presenter Gabby Logan, comedian Jon Richardson, DJ Chris Moyles and Ricky Wilson, singer with Leeds indie rockers Kaiser Chiefs.

The video - which sees the stars repeating the charity tagline ‘Muscles Matter’ - will be aired for the first time on the big screen at Elland Road before United’s game against Sheffield Wednesday this Saturday.

And Martin hopes its message will prompt fans of both clubs to dig deep and make donations to bucket collections that are taking place at the ground on the day.

He told the Yorkshire Evening Post: “I wanted this video to show how conditions like mine are scary and difficult, but that the right support can go a long way to help.

“The video should help raise much-needed cash for Muscular Dystrophy UK to fund more research and help the people who find themselves in the same position as me.

“I’m so grateful to all the celebrities who have lent their backing, and to Leeds United for helping with the collection.

“I can’t wait for the video to premiere at the match. We’re calling on everyone at the game to donate, either to the bucket collectors or via text.”

Acting favourites who feature in the video include Jason Isaacs and Vicky McClure as well as Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Kate Dickie, both from Game Of Thrones.

Also appearing is Leeds-born Ralph Ineson, famed for his roles in The Office and the Harry Potter film series.

United fan Ralph said: “I lent my support as Martin’s video really brought to life just how serious muscular dystrophy can be.

“The fact there isn’t a cure, and barely any way to treat it, shows just how important it is to provide the right support. I hope everyone can spare a fiver to make a difference.”

Martin’s condition means he cannot take more than a few steps without feeling discomfort but the dad-of-three, from Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire, has still raised large sums for Muscular Dystrophy UK in recent years with a series of walks and other challenges.

One of his most notable achievements saw him climbing Mount Snowdon with a group of 40 family and friends over the course of nine agonising hours in July last year.

Saturday’s bucket collections at Elland Road will take place after the video’s premiere at 2.40pm.

Fans can also donate £5 to Muscular Dystrophy UK by texting MDUK18 £5 to 70070.

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