FORMER Saddleworth Rangers player Andy Joy completed his month-long challenge ‘Run for Jocky’ thanks to a little help from his friends.
The 27-year-old prop, who now plays for Coventry Bears in Betfred League 1, set himself a target of running 200 miles during January to raise money for Shane Wilson’s family following the death of Rangers’ chairman.
But on day 18 and after 130 miles, Andy injured a glute muscle which is when his friends came to the rescue.Andy, who was raised in Moorside, explained: “I put on social media I planned to walk the last 70 miles.
“I received offers from friends, team-mates, Jocky’s Under-16s team and even my people I played with on the England students’ team.”
Andy, a former pupil at Christ Church, Denshaw, also managed to walk 60 miles despite being injured and by the end of the month he and his friends had clocked up 698 miles. He is on target to raise £2,500.
It was on New Year’s Eve when Andy came up with the idea while walking his dog as he wanted to help raise funds Shane may need for future treatment.
He said: “Rangers organised a bike ride for Jocky and I wanted to do my bit.
“The original idea was to run 130 miles during the month after I texted a mate while on the dog walk to ask whether it was possible for a 17st prop to achieve that.
“I messaged Jocky’s wife Karen and sadly he passed away that evening.”
Andy began his challenge on New Year’s Day when he was joined by Rangers’ players Jack Holden and Ethan Langhorn for the first run.
He added he was joined by friends for most of the other runs, notably Tom Lees, and only did one full run solo.
Andy, a yard foreman at Oldham firm Howarth Timber and Building Supplies, ran three half marathons in the first fortnight including 15.8 miles the furthest in one stint.
He continued: “It was going so well after a fortnight I decided to step it up and make is harder by increasing it 200 miles as opposed to 130.
“But I think it was a case of one run too many when my glute went.”
Andy, who has also played professionally for North Wales Crusaders, praised those who assisted him.
He said: “I only did one full run on my own and the support of others pulled me through.
“I was disappointed to get injured as for personal pride I wanted to finish what I started.
“The support I received after being injured was phenomenal and it was great Jocky’s U16s team did quite a lot of miles.
“It is amazing how the rugby league community rallies round in tough times as this proved.”
You can still sponsor Andy: https://es.gofundme.com/f/28mmukans0