More than 120 Middlesbrough and Hartlepool fans raised an estimated £15,000 for local children’s causes when taking on the Three Peaks Challenge for the Finlay Cooper Fund.

Boro legend and Hartlepool United manager Colin Cooper led a team of walkers on the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge.

Cooper’s team of fundraisers trekked 26 miles up and down Pen-y-Ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough in the Yorkshire Dales – a total ascent of 1,600 metres.

Charitable hikers from as far afield as Portsmouth, Somerset and Glasgow in the UK – and Las Vegas and Sydney overseas – took part in the challenge.

The event was open to people of a range of ages and ability including Mike Riley, 69, and his 12-year-old grandson Louis Wilkinson. Mike climbed Mount Kilimanjaro with Cooper, former Boro star Craig Hignett and Jeff Stelling of Sky Sports last year.

Cooper said: “The Three Peaks challenge attracted many Boro and Pools fans. There was a great camaraderie and team spirit that was evident throughout the day.

“I think that quite a few of the walkers did not appreciate just how tough the challenge was going to be, especially on such a hot day, but their grit and determination impressed me so much”.

“Julie and I are so proud that people continue to do these amazing things in Fin’s memory for some very special local causes.”

Fund trustee Nick Waites added: “Most of the walkers succeeded in climbing all three fells, so it was a fantastic effort.

“Whilst money is still being collected in from the walkers, we hope to raise between £15,000 and £20,000 for children’s causes.

“We are extremely grateful to the kind-hearted individuals who gave their time to walk with us and raise money, together with the companies and groups of co-workers who got together to support us.”

The venture was boosted by a £5,000 donation from oil company IOR Ltd, owners of Hartlepool United.

Care home owner Raj Singh, managing director of the Prestige Group, has promised to double the amount raised by seven members of his staff raise through the challenge. Another £2,000 was raised by a group from drinks manufacturer Britvic.

The Three Peaks Challenge followed last year’s climb of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania which raised £100,000.

The Finlay Cooper Fund has raised more than £300,000 for a wide range of children’s causes since it was formed in 2006.

The Fund was set up by Cooper and his wife Julie after they lost their son Finlay in a choking accident shortly before his second birthday in 2002.


Congratulations to all who took part!