It’s ‘Welcome Home’ and a massive ‘Well Done’ to Jim Morton on completing his remarkable near 9,000-mile trek around the entire coastline of mainland Great Britain.
Jim, a huge Wednesday fan and known to many of us from his days as a London Owl, finished the walk in his hometown of Penistone on Friday … at the same spot where he began the amazing journey back in April 2021.
There was a great reception for Jim, 62, as he crossed the finish line, accompanied by wife, Sue, and piped home by a member of the Gurkhas. Jim has been raising money for the Gurkha Welfare Trust as part of his walking marathon, with all funds collected going towards building new homes in Nepal after villages there were destroyed in an earthquake.
Sue has been with Jim throughout the journey, driving their motorhome from stop to stop, looking after their two Westies – Shona and Maisie – arranging campsites, updating his social media and doing much, much more to ensure Jim could concentrate on his daily walking targets … so again, it was fitting that she should join him in the home straight at a rain-soaked Penistone.
A gathering of around 60 friends and supporters were also there to ensure Jim had an excellent welcome and a reception was then held at the town’s Royal British Legion.
His epic trip saw Jim reach the finals of the Pride in Britain awards for the Yorkshire region and he was joined during one leg of his walk by friend Ian Mellor, one of the Wednesday goalscorers from our famous 4-0 Boxing Day win over Sheff U back in 1979.
Jim is pictured here, with ‘Spider’ Mellor, during the Cheshire stage of his walk.
In addition, Jim had plenty of media attention on Friday and when asked on the BBC 5 Live Drive radio programme on Friday evening about his highs and lows of the walk, he said his lowlights included falling from a cliff in Scotland as it literally disappeared under his feet, resulting in him being knocked unconscious, airlifted to hospital and diagnosed with a bleed on the brain.
Following on from that, he told interviewers Tony Livesey and Clare McDonnell about twice being swept out to sea in fast-flowing rivers, again in Scotland, but he survived all to tell the tales.
As for the highlights, Jim spoke of the satisfaction of achieving his childhood ambition to walk around the entire Great Britain coastline and his final high spot came on Friday afternoon, telling Tony and Clare: “When I got into the Royal British Legion club at Penistone, the Gurkhas held a presentation.
“They showed a slide of a Gurkha widow whose husband had been killed, she was standing with her son on a plot of land in Nepal and I was told that the house to be built there will be called the Jim and Sue Morton house when it is completed.
“That is a real honour and I was struggling to hold it together at that stage.”
A truly fitting way for Jim to bring his walk of a lifetime to a memorable conclusion … and well done from London Owls both past and present, far and wide, on such a truly tremendous achievement.
* You can catch up with Jim’s exploits on his website ‘I may be gone a while’. He has now raised more than £32,000 for the Gurkha Welfare Trust and if you wish to make a contribution then you’ll find a link to his Just Giving page on the website.