#Solihull2Stans – raising awareness of male suicide

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“When Lee’s team walked the 38 miles to Reading in the pouring rain, they had a few Royals with them for the whole 16 hour trek and raised a collective £7000 for CALM. Are us Bluenoses going to be outdone by those wannabe Cockneys!? Pah!”

Blues fans have not had a whole lot to celebrate this year. Our likely relegation survival has been as exciting as it has traumatic and although we’ve had cause to celebrate over recent weeks, as a whole it’s been another dire season with more downs than ups and more behind the scenes bitchiness than the Big Brother house.

One thing that has been phenomenal though is our fans. It’s a long, long road full of joys and sorrows but we’ve always been there. When Zola was clutching at straws and wearing his bravest of faces, there we were. When Redknapp ran around the country like Del Trotter chasing lorries with dodgy locks, we sang his name. When Cotterill left the farm and headed up to the big city lights only to find that the roads were paved with banana skins rather than golden bricks, we begrudgingly continued to show up. Now with the Monk revival in full swing, we’re filling the stands and singing louder and longer than ever. Our away following has been consistently outstanding and we’ve frequently sold out our ticket allocations no matter how big or QPR they are.

Regardless of performances on the pitch, Bluenoses have been absolutely fantastic off of it and now we have a chance to prove once more why we’re the greatest fans in this country.

As I reported on last week, Lee Adams and his fellow tribe of Fulham fanatics are currently preparing for their 113 mile walk to St Andrews. I say “walk” but in all honesty if I found myself in West London, I think I’d be sprinting out of there so I assume they will too.

The guys and girls are taking on this incredible challenge in order to raise money for CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably). For more information on Lee’s story, please click *here* to read my recent interview with the man himself.

Over a 4 day period, the team will be heading to Dunstable, Daventry, Solihull and Small Heath whilst tackling approximately 35 miles of terrain per day, all on foot. The final leg of the journey will be from Solihull to St Andrews, and that’s where us Blues fans come in.

When Lee’s team walked the 38 miles to Reading in the pouring rain, they had a few Royals with them for the whole 16 hour trek and raised a collective £7000 for CALM. Are us Bluenoses going to be outdone by those wannabe Cockneys!? Pah!

We’re not suggesting that Blues fans attempt the entire journey – especially with little to no training under their belts, but the last leg is certainly doable. It’s about 6 miles from Solihull to St Andrews and it would be one hell of a scene if Birmingham fans could meet up with the Fulham crew and march together in unison to the promise land.

For this reason, BCFC Followers and BCFC Report are launching our #Solihull2Stans campaign to help promote the final jaunt of the #Fulham2BirminghamWalk. Lee and his cohorts will be aiming to leave St John’s Hotel, 651 Warwick Road, Solihull at approx 8am on Sunday morning. I’ll be there and I’ll be dragging fellow BCFC Followers Ceire Francis and her son along with me (whether they like it or not). It would be amazing to see some more Blues fans alongside us!

Lee anticipates that the Sunday morning stroll will take around 2 hours to complete (2 and a half for a fatty like me) so we’ll be arriving at the ground will plenty of time to freshen up and get ready for a final day of football in which we should hopefully find ourselves with nothing left to play for.

We will also be joined by Tomos who will walk in representation of Stepping Stones Global – a local mental health fundraising and event planning organisation. Tomos and his team offer help to adults with anxiety and depression in the Birmingham and Solihull area and you can find him @BlueSkyNoClouds on Twitter. There’ll be more about Tomos and his fantastic work next week, so watch this space for more information.

If anyone would like to help fund Lee’s madness, his Just Giving page is up and running right now. Lee’s page has already reached the £5000 mark before the guys have even taking a step towards the second (but greatest) city. Their overall target is £10000 and it’s edging nearer and nearer each day. We ask on behalf of Lee, his fellow walkers and CALM  that Blues fans get involved with this amazing cause and continue to show the world why no matter where the team are in the league, our fans are always at the top.

Whether it’s a tenner or ten pence, every little bit helps and no donation is too small. Men’s mental health and rates of suicide are subjects that have been taboo topics of conversation for far too long. Together, we can and will make a difference.

For more information on how to get involved, contact myself, BCFC Followers or BCFC Report through social media. You can follow Lee’s story on Twitter @matchwornshirt1 and his Just Giving page is www.justgiving.com/fundraising/fulham2birminghamwalk

For more information about CALM or if any of the issues in this article may be affecting you, please don’t hesitate to visit www.thecalmzone.net They are also on Twitter @theCALMzone

By Mark Watson

@MarkWatson1875

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