Fundraising hero has 150,000 reasons to salute the generosity of Leeds United fans

Martin Hywood steps out on one of his fundraising walks.
Martin Hywood steps out on one of his fundraising walks.

His story is a champion illustration of the willingness of the Leeds United family to go that extra mile for one of their own.

Muscular dystrophy sufferer Martin Hywood, 45, has raised more than £150,000 over the last five years for research into his condition.

He has been backed throughout his fundraising efforts – which have included a series of mile-long walks and other challenges – by his fellow Leeds fans.

And today, as Martin became the latest star of the Yorkshire Evening Post’s new Marching on Together series, he paid tribute to the support he has received from the Whites fanbase.

The dad-of-three, from Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire, told the YEP: “I call the people who help me Hywood’s Heroes, they are a bunch of selfless characters with hearts of gold.

"We have cycled, skydived, run marathons, climbed mountains and walked to many famous sporting events.

“The money we have raised to date for Muscular Dystrophy UK equates to 3,333 hours of research, which is fantastic.”

One of Martin’s standout achievements saw him climbing Mount Snowdon with a group of 40 family, friends and Leeds fans over the course of nine gruelling hours in 2017.

Top sporting venues that have acted as destinations for his mile-long walks, meanwhile, include London’s Oval cricket ground and Buckinghamshire’s Stoke Mandeville Stadium as well as United’s Elland Road home.

And, last year, he made an awareness-raising film called Muscles Matter which featured famous names such as Alan Shearer, Gabby Logan and Ricky Wilson.

He has also received support from United fanzine The Square Ball, former Whites star Ian Harte and well-known Leeds fans such as Ralph Ineson, Simon Rix and Jon Richardson.

Martin’s condition means he cannot take more than a few steps without feeling pain and he is currently raising funds for his own much-needed new wheelchair.

To lend your support, visit the www.justgiving.com/campaign/hywoodsheroes page.

The YEP is asking readers to nominate special United fans, young or old, to feature in future editions of Marching on Together.

The series has been launched to salute stalwart supporters during the final stages of a season that could see their loyalty rewarded with a long-overdue return to the Premier League for Leeds.

To make a nomination, ring 0113 238 8463 or e-mail paul.robinsons@jpimedia.co.uk.