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Former England Test cricketer Matt Maynard has completed his epic wellington boots walk across the country in aid of the two charities that inspired him.

In October last year, the man with 18 England caps commenced the mammoth ‘Wellyman’ challenge from John O’Groats, in Scotland, to Land’s End, in Cornwall - a total of 1,189 miles - to raise money for the Professional Cricketers’ Trust and Help for Heroes.

The former Glamorgan head coach was joined by friends, family – including daughter Ceri who completed 12 days – and former teammates and cricketers along the way.

However, it wasn’t all a stroll in the park for Maynard. Undulating terrain, battling the elements and extreme illness all contributed to his extraordinary trip. The former batter, with more than 38,000 runs to his credit, was, unfortunately, hospitalised just four days into the journey with what turned out to be a severe chest and lung infection.

Man at Land's End sign
Matt Maynard celebrates reaching the end of his journey - Pic: Sukie Huntley-Robertson / Help for Heroes

After 12 days rest, Maynard was able to continue with the walk in stages, as he completed Inverness to Edinburgh, Edinburgh to Kendal, Kendal to Shrewsbury, Shrewsbury to Monmouth and Monmouth to Bridgewater.

After celebrating his 58th birthday, he completed the final 10-day stage of Bridgewater to Land’s End, in late March after a super-human effort.

This wasn’t Maynard’s first hike in wellies, having previously travelled from Cardiff to Colwyn Bay for the Tom Maynard Trust, set up following the tragic death of his son in 2012.

After Tom’s passing, the Professional Cricketers’ Trust supported the Maynard family through counselling with Matt encouraging other current and former players over the years to use the services of the charity if they need help. 

Help for Heroes is a charity I’ve admired for a long time and they have to raise an extremely large amount of money each year.

Matt Maynard

Former England Test cricketer

Maynard said: “John O’Groats to Land’s End is the biggest challenge that you can do in the country, so I’m overjoyed to complete it. This was just my way of giving something back to two phenomenal charities.

“The Trust has been great to me over the years, when I was a player and when we lost Tom, they’ve done such an excellent job and I’m very grateful to them for how they’ve supported me. The Trust is always there and it’s amazing to think how many players they look after.

“Help for Heroes is a charity I’ve admired for a long time and they have to raise an extremely large amount of money each year. Our forces do an amazing job and I can’t believe some of the struggles they face so it’s nice to be able to contribute to a worthwhile cause.

“Being hospitalised was a worry, but it enabled me to re-evaluate and set more realistic targets for the walk.

“Lots of people have completed the John O’Groats to Land’s End challenge but I’ve done some research and I think I’m the first person ever to do it in wellies and in the same pair of wellies too – I think it’s a world first.”

Man swinging cricket bat
Matt is aiming to raise £20,000 to be split between the two charities - Pic: Perfocal / Help for Heroes

Our Area Fundraising Manager, Rhys Edwards, said: “This has been a tough challenge for Matt, as could be seen on his daily updates. However, his determination prevailed, and I am very pleased to see him complete it. He should be very proud of his efforts, not only personally, but also for his support for us and the Professional Cricketers’ Trust.”

Professional Cricketers’ Trust Director Ian Thomas added: “This has got to be one of the most incredible challenges I have ever seen completed for the players’ charity. We’re very grateful for the money he’s been able to raise for the Trust and it’s brilliant that Matt has supported another extremely worthy charity, too.”

Maynard is aiming to raise £20,000 and you can still support his Wellyman Walk by visiting justgiving.com/campaign/MattWellymanWalk.