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Former English cricketer Sir Ian Botham is to set off on his 12th long distance charity walk this weekend.

The 52-year-old former test captain has raised over £10 million (US$20 million) for Leukaemia Research since his first 900-mile trek from John O’Groats to Land’s End in 1995. Last year he was knighted for his efforts.

“When we set out on our first march from John O’Groats to Land’s End in 1985, the chances of survival for leukaemia patients was only 20 per cent,” said the cricket star, who was inspired to do something positive for children’s cancer research after meeting sick children while in a Taunton hospital for treatment on a broken toe. He accidentally walked into a children’s ward and was horrified to learn that some of the children had only weeks to live. “With the necessary funding, I’m told we can raise the bar to 95 per cent in the next 10 years which would be a fantastic achievement in such a short timespan. I wont stop until there is a 100 per cent cure.”

Sir Ian will start his latest trek today, October 10, in Taunton, Somerset, where he started his cricket career, and finish in Durham on Saturday 18 October, where he played his last match. The route in between will take him through Windsor, Tunbridge Wells, Bury St Edmunds, Stratford-Upon-Avon, Llandudno, Harrogate and Milngavie near Glasgow.

“It can be a bit lonely, but this time we’re doing towns and cities so you tend to be in population all the time,” he said. “We found it a bit difficult in the wilds along the A9 collecting from the sheep so this time we can collect money along the route.”

For a detailed map of Sir Ian’s route, or to make a donation to the cause, visit his official website.

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