An “inspirational” schoolboy is currently walking 50-miles to Manchester United’s home ground Old Trafford.
And it’s all to raise worthy funds for foodbanks across the UK.
Within just days of embarking on his charity challenge by setting off from his hometown of Larne in Northern Ireland to Old Trafford, Ben Dickinson has already smashed his 50,000-meal fundraising target in aid of food poverty charity FareShare.
The monumental milestone – which equates to £12,500 in donations – comes just six days into his ten-day ‘Ben’s Miles for Meals’ trek, and already goes a long way to helping FareShare to tackle hunger in the most vulnerable communities by distributing food packages to charities and foodbanks up and down the country.
Ben was inspired to take on the challenge by Manchester United and England star, and food poverty relief campaigner Marcus Rashford MBE – who he calls his “hero”.
“I set myself a target of 50,000 meals for FareShare, and I can’t believe I have reached that milestone this early in my campaign,” Ben said.
“Everyone has been so generous in supporting me so far, and with four more days left until I reach my final destination of Old Trafford, I’m excited to push on and raise even more money for Marcus’ charity, FareShare.”
Proud dad Andrew Dickinson, who has been accompanying Ben every step of the way, added: “I am immensely proud of Ben for taking on this tough challenge and setting himself such a huge target as well [and] as a family, we are so grateful for everyone who has supported him to date and helped him reach the 50,000-meal mark so quickly.
“We can’t wait to see what his final fundraising total will be.”
Although Ben’s charity trek is impressive enough as it is, that’s not all he’s doing, as after already exceeding the original target, his fundraising tally is set to increase even further with an online auction that’s offering football fans the chance to get their hands on signed memorabilia from some of the world’s best players, including George Best, Wayne Rooney, David Beckham, and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Ben’s charity walk will culminate with a hero’s welcome at Old Trafford on Saturday 12 March as Manchester United take on Tottenham Hotspur in a Premier League clash.
The auction will then be hosted after the match by Hotel Football.
“We simply couldn’t do what we do without kind community fundraisers like Ben supporting us and helping raise the vital funds we need year after year,” said James Persad from FareShare UK, congratulating Ben on his achievements so far.
“50,000 meals is an incredible figure and Ben’s selfless efforts will undoubtedly change the lives of thousands of people across the UK for the better.
“We look forward to cheering him over the finishing line at Old Trafford.”
You can donate to Ben fundraiser for FareShare on his website here, and follow along on his journey via social media.
Featured Image – Supplied
Ben Foster reveals he’s being paid ‘literally peanuts’ to play for Wrexham AFC
We refuse to believe any UK football fan didn’t let out a little smile upon hearing the news that Ben Foster came out of retirement to re-sign for Wrexham AFC nearly 20 years on from his first spell.
The 39-year-old goalkeeper called time on his playing days at the end of last season after slowly moving towards becoming a squad player-come-YouTuber over the past few years and having already enjoyed a long and successful career.
However, following a nudge from the coach and celebrity owners Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney, he was convinced to lace up his boots once more and the former United, Stoke, West Brom and Watford man will now be playing between the sticks at the Racecourse Ground until the end of the season.
To make things even more wholesome, the Premier League veteran has confessed that transfer talks didn’t last long, confessing on his YouTube and Spotify show, the Fozcast: “To be honest, the negotiations took about five minutes”, adding that he’s been paid “literally peanuts”.
Nevertheless, Foster admitted that he doesn’t need much money after such a great career up and down the football pyramid and while “things changed a lot since [he] was last here”, he said, “it’s nice to be back” and labelled manager Phil Parkinson “top class”.
Parkinson, an EFL journeyman himself, had similarly complimentary words for the seasoned keeper, stating: “We’re delighted to welcome Ben to the club. With Rob Lainton getting injured at the weekend, it was important we had all bases covered going into the last part of the season, which this signing ensures.”
The ex-England international first played for Wrexham back in 2005 when he was loaned out by Stoke City and went on to win the EFL Trophy — his first-ever piece of silverware. Now he’s back to help them finally get out of the National League (currently three points clear at the top with a game in hand).
As for his expectations for the season, he said the goal is simple: “getting the team over the line and getting them promoted”, adding “I’m a very low-maintenance player. Just wheel me out, I’ll do a job.” Now that’s the kind of attitude we can get behind.
Speaking to talkSPORT after the sudden move, he revealed that the whole deal felt just as out of the blue for him too, detailing how he got a call from the manager after a bike ride one day and, before he knew it, he’d given them the thumbs up.
Shedding some light on his discussions with the Hollywood owners, he said that Reynolds “actually slid into [his] DMs” once the agreement had been confirmed, joking: “I’m buzzing I’ve got Ryan Reynolds in there, I ain’t even replied to him! I’ll leave him hanging for a bit!”
He went on to admit that he actually approached him first, messaging, “I used to play for Wrexham and if you’re ever available for a podcast I’d love you to come.” Thankfully, he finally responded, saying: “Mate, sorry I didn’t reply. I’ll definitely do the podcast with you, thank you for signing.”
That Deadpool episode is going to be a great watch… You can see him talking about the surprise transfer in full on his YouTube channel down below:
The GIANT £375 chocolate Easter egg that’s ‘too beautiful to eat’
One of the north’s most legendary hospitality businesses has created an Imperial Easter Egg, and the effort that goes into crafting it is wild.
Coming in at 10kg, 22 inches tall, and £375, Bettys enormous chocolate treat shows off a whole lot of artistry.
The iconic tearoom, which has sites across Yorkshire, has shared the behind-the-scenes video to its TikTok page, drumming up almost half a million views.
The mouth-watering video shows first milk chocolate being hand-painted onto a chocolate egg-shaped mould to create the Easter egg’s beautiful textured appearance, The Hoot reports.
Then layer after layer of melted chocolate is poured in from a chocolate tap, before being trimmed and tidied.
Bettys, which has tearooms across Harrogate, York, and Leeds, uses the finest Swiss Grand Cru chocolate for its imperial Easter egg, and every bit that’s trimmed away is melted down to reuse elsewhere.
Then a pastry chef at the tearoom will spend up to an hour PER EGG piping on the ornate decorations, carefully piping on coloured white chocolate stems and ferns.
Then colourful royal icing flowers are placed on its surface, each one again hand-piped by their cake decorators.
The end result is a whopping Spring-time masterpiece covered in shades of green, yellow and purple.
Bettys Imperial Easter Egg weighs in at a massive 10kg and stands at 22 inches tall.
Bettys says: “Celebrating the creativity and craft that makes Bettys unique, our handmade Imperial Easter eggs continue a tradition stretching back more than a century, when our founder Frederick Belmont designed eggs which were ornately embellished with hand-piped icing designs.
“Containing over five kilos of Grand Cru Swiss chocolate made from prized Venezuelan criollo cocoa beans, the Imperial Egg is a true work of art, showcasing the highest skills of our chocolatiers and cake decorators.
“Each Imperial Egg carries an array of delicate, individually crafted spring blooms and foliage including primroses, narcissi and pansies, with hand-piped stems as a final perfect touch.
“Our Imperial Easter Egg is made to order and is only available for collection from one of our Yorkshire shops.”