We wish former London Owl Jim Morton all the very best as he puts both feet forward … for what is an amazing 7,500-mile walking marathon.
Jim sets off tomorrow (Monday) morning on a walk around the coast of the British mainland, fulfilling a childhood ambition and raising money for charity at the same time.
It’s a tremendous trek for Jim and he says he hopes to complete the challenge by May 2022 – in time to see us in next season’s Division One play-off final!
Jim joined the London Owls back in 1978 while in the Royal Navy at Chatham and spent four years as a very active member of the club. He lives in Penistone and is still a regular at Hillsborough but, now he has taken early retirement at the age of 60, he is ready for the mighty effort.
As a youngster he became fascinated by lighthouses, he wanted to see them all and decided the best way to do so would be by walking around Britain.
Jim says: “This idea has been with me ever since and when I set off, I will be 60. I joined the Royal Navy at the age of 16 and pre-planned to leave aged 21 to achieve my lifelong ambition.
“However, during the summer of 1978 I was having some leave at home in Sheffield when the reporter on Radio Sheffield said ‘we now have John Merrill on the phone to share his coastal walk experience with us’. I was mortified and my ambition to be the first person to do it was gone.”
Family life then took over but now, 43 years later, Jim has decided to finally take on that long-held ambition.
He is planning to spend most nights in his motorhome, which will be driven by his wife Susan, and will start the trek from Penistone Trans Pennine trail. at 9am tomorrow morning.
He will then walk over the Pennines to the River Mersey and go up the coast in a clockwise direction, eventually finishing back in Yorkshire next Spring after an estimated 7,500-mile journey.
Jim says: “This is my lifelong ambition, nobody else’s, and it is for me. However all the money I raise will be donated to the Gurkha Welfare Trust.”
You can follow Jim’s adventure on Facebook ‘imaybegoneawhile’ and on Instagram ‘imaybegoneawhile2021’. If you would like to donate to his chosen cause then his Just Giving page is ‘Richard Morton I May Be Gone A While’.
Best of luck, Jim, from the London Owls. WAWAW!