YOUTH footballers in Ayr have received backing from celebrities and stars of the game on their Premier League virtual stadium challenge for a cancer charity.

The team are attempting to run the distance between every stadium in England’s top division and are set to raise thousands for Ayrshire Cancer Support in the process.

Thierry Henry, Peter Crouch, Graeme Souness and Phil Neville are just some of the top names to have sent a video message of encouragement to Ayr Boswell 08s, with supportive shout outs also coming from pop star Rita Ora and Jane McCarry, who plays Isa in Still Game.

An online fundraising page has already kicked off and secured over an incredible £2,700 for the charity.

Now Boswell have set their sights on raising £5,000 for Ayrshire Cancer Support, who run support services for those affected by cancer and during the Covid-19 crisis are providing trauma relief for bereaved families, carers and NHS workers impact by coronavirus.

Proud coach Douglas George told the Advertiser: “At the start of the lockdown we had been setting some challenges for the boys. We wanted to keep them motivated when the football was off.

“They were doing so well, running 13 miles one week, then cycling the next. So, we thought about trying to make some money for charity and make it relevant to football.”

The coaches came up with the idea to do run the mammoth 1000 mile virtual tour, starting from Ayr’s Somerset Park to Hampden. 

From the national stadium in Glasgow they then headed off on a gruelling 149 miles to their first ground of St James Park, Newcastle, with the aim to finish up running the distance between Southampton and Brighton.

Since the challenge began the team have been pounding the pavements and parks of Ayr to cover the distance and sharing their progress on Instagram, which is where their mission caught the eye of some legends of the sport.

Douglas added: “It’s been amazing. It all started off with Ayr player Michael Moffatt wishing us well, which was brilliant as a lot of the boys support Ayr.

“From there we’ve just had so many messages come in.

“It’s really keeping the boys motivated. When we are playing the club becomes a wee community.

“Everyone is still keeping in touch over WhatsApp over it all.”

Legendary player and manager Graeme Souness told the boystheir run was for a “great cause”, and added: “It won’t be easy but make sure you finish it, if you start something you’ve got to finish it.”

Premier League legend Thierry Henry said: “I just want to wish you all the best in the quest to raise money for Ayrshire Cancer Support.”

You can support Ayr Boswell 2008s by visiting:


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