Football fan Ed Wood was feeling just champion today after breaking the record for attending a match at all 93 league grounds in England and Wales the shortest space of time.
Ed, 51, from Pool in Wharfedale, completed his quickfire marathon around the grounds in 189 days, beating the previous record of 237 days.
The final game in his quest came yesterday, when he saw Rochdale fight out a 3-3 draw at home to Charlton Athletic.
But his travels up and down the land since the start of the season have been about more than simply watching football – it is hoped donations received along the way will eventually help raise £10,000 for Prostate Cancer UK.
Ed, who took a sabbatical from his job at Lloyds Banking Group for his successful crack at the record, said: “It has meant a lot of planning and to see that all coming together gives you a real sense of achievement.”
He added: “I have missed my partner’s birthday and our anniversary, Boxing Day, New Year’s Day and Valentine’s Day but to achieve the record and raise money for Prostate Cancer UK has been hugely rewarding.
“I have had help from lots of friends and from just as many strangers up and down the country – I have been touched by their willingness to help me out with tickets, travel, talking to clubs and lots more.
“I’m not sure I’ll miss regular 300 mile round trips on a Tuesday night, but it won’t be long till I am back at the football.”
Being a record-breaker is nothing new for Derby County fan Ed – he set the then shortest time of 243 days for visiting the 93 grounds back in the 1991-92 season.
Guinness World Records adjudicator Mark McKinley said today: “This is an incredible achievement by Ed.
“The logistical challenge of assessing the fixture list and calculating appropriate routes that encompass all 93 stadiums should not to be underestimated.
“Taking time out from his normal life to pursue his goal shows astounding commitment to making history.”
To back Ed’s fundraising, visit the justgiving.com/fundraising/edwood93challenge web page.
England and Wales have 92 Football League grounds, with the 93rd on Ed’s list being the Shielfield Park home of Berwick Rangers, who play in the Scottish League despite being based in Northumberland.