November 10, 2009

Beefy marches on for charity

At 53, and with an appetite for the good life, a 900-mile trek should be beyond Ian Botham. But instead he’s unveiled plans for a 13th charity walk to begin April next year.

'Beefy's Great Forget Me Not Walk' will mark the 25th anniversary of his first trek in aid of leukaemia research as he walks length of Britain from Scotland's John O'Groats to England's Land's End.

"My walk in 2010 will be extra special for me," Botham said. “I never forget why I put myself through the pain and blisters. I won't stop until we beat childhood leukaemia.” When Botham set out for his first walk in 1985 only 20 percent of children with leukaemia survived. “We're up to about 90 percent survival now and that's remarkable."

Botham heads to South Africa on Wednesday for his commentary duties and has cemented a reputation for uncompromising barrages. This same unrelenting attitude has helped him raise some £10 million pounds for leukaemia research and he has no intention of stopping there.

Sahil Dutta is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo