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West Berkshire 11-year-old walks for Parkinson's charity to Wembley Stadium

In a feat designed to coincide with the UEFA European Championship, an 11-year-old from Chieveley is walking the 66 miles to Wembley Stadium - all in a bid to raise vital funds for a charity close to his heart.

Johnny Pride, a pupil at Brockhurst and Marlston House School, will be completing the challenge to raise money and awareness of Parkinson's disease, a progressive nervous system disorder, which his grandfather is suffering from.

He will set out from his school today (Saturday), and over five days will visit Henley-on-Thames on his way to Marlow from Reading, via Pinewood Studios and on to Uxbridge and Northala Fields.

Johnny Pride.
Johnny Pride.

Walking an average of 16.4 miles a day, he is due to finish at the iconic stadium on June 22.

Johnny's father Peter Pride, who will be joining his son on the walk, said: "We're starting on Friday and finishing on Tuesday.

"Johnny's grandad has got Parkinson's - he's had it for 19-odd years.

"Sadly, he's in the latter stages now, he's pretty bad with it.

"During lockdown, Johnny wanted to do a charity walk, which he wasn't able to do due to the various Covid obstacles.

"It was only about a month ago that we said, 'Right, let's put pen to paper and start planning it.'

"He's absolutely football-mad, so he wanted to walk to Wembley - he's obsessed with anything to do with football.

"We thought we would time it with the Euros, seeing as we're coming out of lockdown.

"It's about 18 miles a day, and we're doing a bit of a scenic route to make 66 miles.

"I know that Parkinson's UK are doing this 'walk for 66 miles' event, because 1 in 66 people in the UK get Parkinson's."

To prepare, Johnny and his father have been regularly walking around 15 miles a day.

On the second day of his journey, the young walker will be joined by his friend Isaac Puddle.

Both Johnny and Isaac are fans of Reading Football Club and this leg of the expedition will culminate at the Madjeski Stadium.

All proceeds raised from the walk will be donated to charity Parkinson's UK.

A JustGiving page has been set up to support the effort, and this has raised over £3,500 so far.

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