Famous names sign up for Leeds United fanzine’s 35-mile fundraising walk

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One is a big noise in the world of music while the other wrote himself into Leeds United folklore as part of the side that blazed a trail to the Champions League semi-finals back in 2001.

And now Kaiser Chiefs bassist Simon Rix and former United defender Ian Harte are teaming up to tackle a charity fundraising walk organised by Whites fanzine The Square Ball.

Ian Harte.

Ian Harte.

Simon and Ian have agreed to join a group of around 20 fellow Leeds fans on the gruelling 35-mile walk before the Whites play Preston North End at Elland Road on the evening of Tuesday, September 18.

The fans are setting out from Elland Road’s Billy Bremner statue at 6am that day, following a route that will take them to Bradford City and Huddersfield Town’s grounds then back to Leeds in time for the kick-off against Preston.

Funds raised via sponsorship will go to Leeds Children’s Hospital – through its new charitable banner Leeds Cares – and Muscular Dystrophy UK.

Michael Normanton, co-editor of The Square Ball, said: “It’s incredible to be supported by a couple of local legends like Ian and Simon.

“To not just give it a retweet but actually muck in and do the miles with us is very impressive, though I suspect they are probably regretting it already!

“I’d also like to take this opportunity to apologise to Ian in advance for having to spend at least eight hours of the day talking to people about free-kicks.”

Donations to the fundraising can be made via Michael’s page on the Virgin Money Giving website.

The team at The Square Ball decided to throw their weight behind Muscular Dystrophy UK after being inspired by the fundraising heroics of United fan Martin Hywood.

Martin has raised thousands of pounds for the charity by undertaking a series of walks and other challenges despite himself suffering from muscular dystrophy.

People interested in joining next month’s walk are asked to e-mail michael@thesquareball.net for further information.

The Square Ball has raised more than £10,000 for good causes in recent years through various big-hearted initiatives, including a 12-hour sponsored walk to a Leeds game at Rotherham in 2014.

The latest issue of the fanzine – with a front cover featuring Kemar Roofe – will be on sale at United’s home match tonight against Middlesbrough.