Marching on together! Leeds United fan taking giant strides for charity

A Leeds United fan is bravely tackling a magnificent dozen charity challenges in 2016 despite suffering from muscular dystrophy.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 31st March 2016, 7:28 am
Updated Thursday, 31st March 2016, 7:31 am
Martin Hywood and family at the Oxford track where Roger Bannister broke the four-minute mile.
Martin Hywood and family at the Oxford track where Roger Bannister broke the four-minute mile.

Father-of-three Martin Hywood’s debilitating condition means he cannot take more than a few steps without discomfort or pain.

But over the course of this year Martin is aiming to walk individual miles to or at 11 of the country’s best-known sporting events or venues.

To round off his very own set of 12 ‘labours’, he will be clocking up another physically punishing mile at the wheel of a high-performance sports car at Brands Hatch.

The 42-year-old has already completed walks around London’s Oval cricket ground, Buckinghamshire’s Stoke Mandeville Stadium – the birthplace of the Paralympics movement – and the Oxford athletics track where Roger Bannister broke the four-minute mile.

His next challenge will be a walk to Leeds’s First Direct Arena ahead of hometown boxing hero Josh Warrington’s fight on Saturday, April 16.

And he is hoping Yorkshire Evening Post readers will turn out in force and join him as he makes his way through the city centre.

Martin, who lives in Buckinghamshire but regularly travels up to Leeds for United games, told the YEP: “It would be great if people want to get involved on the day – the support is always welcome!

“Each walk takes me about 45 minutes and is incredibly demanding – I need to spend around a week afterwards recovering.

“It can also be quite a psychological battle but I’m determined to get through all 12 of this year’s events successfully.”

Martin is looking to raise £10,000 for Muscular Dystrophy UK during 2016, which would fund hundreds of hours of research into the condition.

His programme for the next few months includes a walk to Headingley Carnegie Stadium for a Leeds Rhinos game and one to Elland Road before a United fixture.

Other high-profile sporting occasions in his sights include Wimbledon and the British Grand Prix at Silverstone.

To support Martin’s Move a Mile For Muscles fundraising, visit

He previously raised more than £5,000 with a mile-long walk from Holbeck Moor Park to Elland Road in 2014.

People who want to join Martin on April 16’s walk to the First Direct Arena are asked to keep an eye on his @HywoodMartin Twitter feed for route details and timings.