Meet the football fan running to the Stadium of Light as part of an epic challenge to cover 92 grounds
A football-mad dad who quit his job to run to 92 stadiums across England is due to arrive in Sunderland as part of his mammoth charity challenge.
Nathan Richardson is running around 2,500 miles to all 92 grounds in the Premier League and English Football League, and will be carrying all his kit and eating and sleeping wherever he can along the way.
The 29-year-old started his challenge in March 2020, but has faced numerous setbacks when the three national coronavirus lockdowns prevented him from travelling.
But with restrictions starting to ease across the UK this month, Nathan hopes he will be able to run 30 miles from Middlesborough to Sunderland’s ground on Saturday, March 13, stopping at Hartlepool’s stadium along the way.
“Being a football fan I wondered if anyone had ran to all the grounds and at point nobody had done it, so I started planning it, found [two] charities that I wanted to represent and that was it,” he said.
Nathan, a former workshop manager from Manchester, has already ran to 79 grounds, starting in the North West with Old Trafford in Manchester, before going onto grounds in the Midlands, Wales, London and Yorkshire.
Along the way, when covid restictions have allowed, he has been joined by football fans from each local area and many clubs have also allowed him to tour the grounds.
On the North East leg of his challenge, Nathan said: “I’m looking forward to it.
"I’ll be starting in Middlesborough at 10.30am and then will spend around five or six hours running to get to Hartlepool for 12pm and then Sunderland for around 3pm.
"Sunderland will be my 81st stadium.”
With the help of generous football supporters from across the country, Nathan has managed to raise £5,000 towards his goal of £9,200 for charities Mind and ‘Super Josh’ – an organisation which helps children and their families who have brain tumours and post-surgery disabilities.
“It works out £100 for every club that I have ran to,” he said.
“I chose Mind because of the link between mental health and exercise, while Super Josh is a charity local to me that helps children with disabilities.”
Nathan hopes to finally finish his challenge in May with Rochdale’s ground, should covid restictions allow.
To donate visit:https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/runaroundthegrounds