Updated: Jun 16
Author: Lee Adams
The team reach the finish point at Wealdstone FC
Three days after the Celtic to Livingston overnight walk we were weary and sleep deprived, but were looking forward to getting back to it again. This time it was a 22 mile walk from South London to West London via Central London! The alarm was set for 3:45am as we had to be at Champion Hill (home of Dulwich Hamlet FC) for a 6am start.
We were met at Champion Hill by the ever amazing Ed Louder (second from right), our event organiser for this walk and the wonderful Toby, who had joined us for part of the previous Dulwich Hamlet walk. Ed went above and beyond in organising this walk at short notice, and we were all eager to get the walk underway.
The four of us set off at 6:10am, walking to Vauxhall then over the River Thames to Victoria where we were met with open arms and a big smile by former Dulwich Hamlet and Wealdstone player Paul Gbogidi (see picture of us outside Buckingham Palace below). 5 miles in and a pit stop at Victoria Station for some much needed breakfast.
It was great to have Paul join us for part of the walk. He walked with us in the early morning through a very quiet and peaceful Central London. He was very open about his battles, and I'm sure we will be seeing more of Paul in the future, a wonderful man.
It was a stroll through Hyde park, early enough for it not to be busy.... the conversations were in full swing.
As we headed to Paddington Station I had a notification on my phone 'you have a message from Kev', who's Kev I thought? It transpired that Kevin had started the walk from Dulwich Hamlet later then us, and managed to catch up with us around 11 miles in to the walk, just as Toby left the group to watch the women's rugby at Twickenham. Toby had walked much further than he'd expected to, spurred on by the group, and was rightly proud that he had achieved much more than he expected to that day. Toby is looking to complete one of the Walk and Talk MMH events in full in the future and we can't wait for him to join us again!
We walked down the Grand Union Canal (taking in some of the best sights I had ever seen of London) talking, making new friends, opening up and making memories.
We stopped at an Irish pub and received a very warm welcome from the landlady who was very interested in what we were doing and why. She made us all so welcome that it was difficult to get moving again for the last 8 miles or so.
We walked through the colourful and busy Wembley, a walk through London really is something unique.
We arrived at The Vale, home of Wealdstone FC, at 14:40, 20 mins before kick off. Tired, muscles stiff, and with blistered feet but so happy to have made it.
23 miles were complete. Ed had planned an amazing route for us. We had a welcome drink in the Club Bar after the game, such a great atmosphere in there with fans of both teams socialising together. There was talk of Coronavirus in the bar and people were saying goodbye by tapping feet, and elbows, instead of handshakes and hugs. Little did we know what was in store for the coming months.
Dulwich Hamlet...thank you as always for the support, you always go above and beyond for us #SouthLondonsNumberOne. Wealdstone FC, and their Supporters Group were extremely supportive too. We look forward to holding more walks with both Clubs in the future.