Old Trafford is the UK’s largest club stadium and the seventh largest in Europe with a capacity of 75,811. A group of 20 participants have signed up to the monumental challenge of running up and down all 5,500 steps - a task which is the equivalent of running up and down Big Ben 15 times.
The challenge will take place in September 2015 and is being organised in partnership with The Paradise Steps Group, who completed a similar feat at Celtic Park in 2013.
The Scottish charity recognised the links between Glasgow and Manchester United, namely the club’s most successful manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, who was born and raised in Glasgow, but also Glaswegian architect Archibald Leitch was responsible for designing both Old Trafford and Celtic Park. Several players also represented both sides during their careers including Paddy Crerand.
All money raised will be split between Manchester United Foundation for its work in the local community and The Paradise Steps Group which is committed to funding the feeding programme at the Chipindu School in Malawi ensuring all 380 pupils receive a hot meal every day.
Ex-red Crerand said, “There has always been a great relationship between the two clubs, but raising money is what this is all about. It’s fantastic what these guys are doing; helping out two great causes."
44-year-old Seamus Connolly from Glasgow, previously organised the challenge at Celtic Park and explained why Old Trafford was next on their list, “We enjoyed Celtic Park so much that we started looking for an even bigger challenge and thought of Old Trafford, the biggest club stadium in the UK. We got in contact with Manchester United Foundation to organise something and here we are today for the launch.”
He added, “We’ve been training since January, we are out twice a week usually doing about 3,000 steps a day just to try and get ourselves conditioned to actually complete the challenge.”
Fellow fundraiser Chris Cassidy, 34, also from Glasgow, compared the two stadiums and commented, “Old Trafford looks much steeper than Celtic Park, but we are really up for it and looking to plan out a route and get a feel for it with some training today.”
He concluded, “Since we have done Celtic Park, we are now a registered charity so we are committed to helping the Chipindu School in Malawi and with this challenge also Manchester United Foundation and their work in the local community, it’s a bit of hard work for us but it goes a long way.”
Fans can support participants by visiting: www.virginmoneygiving.com/OTstepschallenge.