HYDE United’s Liam Tongue and his girlfriend Sadie Cooper are in the last third of an epic 850-mile lockdown challenge.
The couple’s goal is to run and walk 850 miles – each of them completing 425 miles between July and September – to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Society.
They set a target of £1 per mile but have smashed their £850 target as their total now stands at more than £1,300.
The significance of 850 is 850,000 people in the UK suffer from Alzheimer’s, including Liam’s grandparents from Hattersley.
And Liam, 23, has experienced at first hand the effects Alzheimer’s has had on his family.
Liam said: “The impact Alzheimer’s has had on my family has been enormous.
“My parents, who live three doors away from my grandparents, have to cook their meals, do their washing, clean their home and do everything for them.
“Fortunately they still know who we are but, when they are having a bad day, it sometimes takes quite a while for it to click.”
Liam admitted completing the 850 miles will be a huge challenge.
“I never realised just how far it was. When we did a long walk, it barely dented the total,” he explained.
And to make it even more daunting Sadie was diagnosed with an auto-immune disorder at the start of lockdown and was unable to leave home for four months.
“It meant we couldn’t start until July and are behind the schedule we set for completing the challenge. It has also meant I have ended up I have been doing some of Sadie’s runs and walks for he,” he said.
Liam added they have done a mixture of runs and walks, often on trails and including Yorkshire peak Pen-y-Ghent. They have often been joined by their dog.
Liam, a former pupil at St James’ Primary, Hattersley, and St Thomas More, Denton, recently began a new job at Sheffield United where he is an education tutor for community foundation students and scholars studying for a BTEC qualification.
Liam, who gained a degree in PE at John Moores University, Liverpool, gained one year’s teaching experience at Aquinas College, Stockport.
He is kicking off his second season at Hyde where he has established a regular central midfield place.
That was in stark contrast to his earlier spell at Stalybridge Celtic where he played both full-back positions, centre back and in midfield.
He said: “It is good being a utility player and the manager trusts you to do a job in various positions.
“From a selfish point, you want a preferred position which for me is central midfield.
“And since joining Hyde it has been straightforward as I have played there, enjoyed it and done well.”
If you would like to sponsor Liam and Sadie on their lockdown challenge, go to the following link: