Football fan, Ed Wood, is set to break his Guinness World Record at Rochdale Football Club this Saturday.
In August 2016, the 50-year-old from Otley, West Yorkshire, committed to visiting all 93 grounds in the country (92 + Berwick Rangers) in the shortest amount of time whilst also raising money for Prostate Cancer UK.
This Saturday he is set to break that record with the Crown Oil Arena hosting his final game. One inside the ground, he will be making history by reclaiming the Guinness World Records title for the fastest time to visit all English football league stadiums (and Berwick Rangers), a record he last held 25 years ago.
His current record stands at 237 days, but with Saturday’s match set to be 189 days since Ed kicked off his challenge, it will take some beating to complete it any faster.
A Guinness World Records representative will be on hand to officially award Ed with his world record title.
Rochdale Football Club are delighted that Ed is finishing his challenge at the Crown Oil Arena and we have invited him to the game as guest of honour. He will walk out onto the pitch with the match ball and present it to the referee before kick-off, and will be presented with a Dale shirt, with his name and number printed on the back.
After a long and complex planning phase, Ed started his challenge at Bristol Rovers for their game v Oxford United on 14 August 2016. In 189 days, he will have attended 93 matches (the record requires a trip to Berwick Rangers, an English club playing in the Scottish league system), clocking up 22,000 miles travelling the length and breadth of the country. Ed has raised £5000 for Prostate Cancer UK and that figure is set to rise upon completion of the record.
He attended two matches in one day on three separate occassions, which he highlights as the most logistically challenging element of the whole attempt. The weekend of 23 – 25 September 2016 saw him attend matches at Preston North End, Mansfield Town, Notts County and West Ham United, with the Mansfield – Notts County leg proving the tightest turn around in the whole attempt. With the help of both clubs and their stewards, a friend and several dry-runs on a motorbike, Ed managed to make a 3pm kick off at County having seen the final whistle at 12.45 KO 17 miles away in Mansfield, with minutes to spare.
As the Official Charity Partner of the EFL (English Football League), Prostate Cancer UK work at the heart of the football fraternity alongside a host of fans, club employees and players who’ve been affected by a disease which kills one man every hour in the UK.
Throughout his challenge Ed met some of the people who have been affected by prostate cancer. He was shocked at some of the statistics and that it’s the most common cancer in men.
Ed said: “Ignoring prostate cancer won’t beat it, so I joined the fight to try and make a small difference to a big issue. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men but we don’t talk about it enough. I hope my world record attempt has captured the imagination of football fans across the country and although it’s coming to an end my involvement with charity won’t.
“Along the way I had the pleasure to meet some inspirational people, including men who’ve been affected by this awful disease. At Leyton Orient I was introduced to Errol McKellar, a survivor of prostate cancer, and an incredible guy who has done a lot for the charity. Meeting people like Errol bring the cause to the heart of this challenge and made all my late night drives and barmy challenges worth it.
“Prostate Cancer UK is a brilliant charity and I’m looking forward to doing more. I’ve already signed up for their Football to Amsterdam bike ride – cycling 145 miles over two days with 500 football fans and legends of the game, so from one challenge to the next, I’m not stopping yet!”
James Beeby, Director of Fundraising at Prostate Cancer UK, said: “We’re delighted that Ed has used his Guinness World Record attempt to raise vital funds and awareness for Prostate Cancer UK.
“Many of the football clubs and supporters have already been incredibly supportive of Ed and his challenge which is a brilliant demonstration of Men United: people joining one team to fight a common opposition – prostate cancer.”
Many people are unaware that prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men. It’s a huge issue that cannot be ignored. In 2017 one man an hour will die from prostate cancer in the UK. That’s 10,900 men this year. Based on current trends, if we ignore prostate cancer and do nothing, this number will rise to over 14,500 men a year by 2026.
To sponsor Ed visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/edwood93challenge
To find out more about Prostate Cancer UK’s work in football visit: www.prostatecanceruk.org/football