A lifelong Fulham fan is to accompany a group of friends on a walk from Brighton’s Amex Stadium to Craven Cottage to raise funds for a mental health charity and mark the memory of his stepson who died earlier this year.
Alex Broadley, who was a former Whites season-ticket holder, died in June aged 39 in Spain, where he lived, following a battle with his mental health.
On Monday, December 14, Martin Gamble and 16 of Alex’s closest friends will embark on the 55-mile trek over two days from Falmer to Fulham for the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM).
Martin, who has been supporting Fulham since 1964, and his partner Sonia had their world turned upside down on June 26 when they lost Alex and due to the COVID-19 pandemic. None of his friends were able to attend his funeral.
On November 5, which would have been Alex’s 40th birthday, a plan was etched out to raise £5,000.
That target has been more than doubled and Martin is hopeful the group’s efforts can see them eclipse the £15,000 mark.
“It’s obviously been a very difficult time for all of our family and Alex’s friends and we just wanted to try and do something positive from what has been a terrible loss,” Martin said.
“We are setting off from Falmer on December 14 and then stopping over at a Travelodge in Redhill for the night before completing the rest of the journey on the Tuesday.
“A lot of the lads walking are Brighton season ticket holders and we’ve even let a Chelsea fan join in.
“We were hoping to get in for the game between Fulham and Brighton but it has now been moved from December 15 to the 16th to be shown on Amazon Prime which is a real shame.
“But we are all looking forward to it and Fulham and Brighton have both been very supportive towards us.”
In addition to the walkers in England, Alex’s brother Daniel and friend Adam, who live in Sydney, will be taking on the 80km Manly Beach to Bondi Beach walk the weekend before, to also raise money for CALM.
Over 75 per cent of suicides in the UK are by men and Russell Booty said the walk will also give Alex’s network of friends the opportunity to remember his life in a positive way.
“Alex was just one of our best friends, he was always around and someone who for me personally, influenced my life quite a lot,” Russell said.
“We haven’t been able to have a memorial for him or a funeral, so I think this is going to be our way of drawing a line and saying goodbye to him.”
Anyone wishing to add their support can do so at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/faimer2fulham