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Haverhill fund-raisers get behind 1,000 mile charity challenge in honour of late sports coach Neil Mustoe



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A 24/7 charity challenge that will take just shy of six weeks to complete is being undertaken in memory of a Haverhill man.

Called ‘1,000 miles in 1,000 hours’, it is taking place day and night from a base station set up at Haverhill Rugby Club and aims to raise money for a research project by King’s College Hospital to try and find a cure for Motor Neurone Disease.

It is being done in memory of Neil Mustoe, who died of the disease on April 1, aged 52.

Dave Greenham, third from right, and supporters of the 1,000 miles in 1,000 hours that he initiated to raise awareness of Motor Neurone Disease and money for a research project to find a cure. It is being held in memory of Neil Mustoe, who died of the disease. With Dave at Haverhill Rugby Club is, from left: Neil's son Louis Mustoe, his parents Jan and Colin, partner Helen George and sister Rachel Martin. Picture: Mark Westley
Dave Greenham, third from right, and supporters of the 1,000 miles in 1,000 hours that he initiated to raise awareness of Motor Neurone Disease and money for a research project to find a cure. It is being held in memory of Neil Mustoe, who died of the disease. With Dave at Haverhill Rugby Club is, from left: Neil's son Louis Mustoe, his parents Jan and Colin, partner Helen George and sister Rachel Martin. Picture: Mark Westley

The challenge began at midnight on May 28/29 and was the idea of Neil’s friend, Dave Greenham.

Neil was a member of Haverhill Running Club, where Dave has also been a member for 22 years. Dave is and Neil was a coach at the club.

Dave said: “This is for the charity and for Neil.

Neil Mustoe in race action for Haverhill Running Club. Submitted picture
Neil Mustoe in race action for Haverhill Running Club. Submitted picture

“Neil had been a good friend of mine for years and then he was taken ill with Motor Neurone Disease. It has been on my mind for years.”

The challenge calls on at least one person to run or walk a minimum of one mile, starting at the base camp every hour on the hour and will, said Dave, take five weeks, six days and 16 hours to finish.

Neil’s partner Helen George, who described Dave as a ‘legend’ of the running club, said: “This money is going to King’s College, rather than to the Motor Neurone Disease Association charity directly because Neil was very passionate about a cure being found.

Neil Mustoe and Helen George representing Haverhill Running Club at a race in 2020. Submitted picture
Neil Mustoe and Helen George representing Haverhill Running Club at a race in 2020. Submitted picture

“He took part in some trials for a cure at King’s College so that was his preferred charity, to try and help other people because pretty much that’s what Neil was all about.

“That’s why he was such a good coach and such a good friend. He has raised thousands and inspired others to raise thousands since he was diagnosed with MND.”

So far, the challenge, has been well supported said Dave: “It’s gaining momentum all the time. We’ve had some cold weather and some wet weather and they’ve all turned up.”

Neil’s sister Rachel Martin added: “There was someone that failed to turn up the other day (to do their mile) and there was a lady walking her dog and she said “I will do that’.

“It was really good; superb, as Neil would say.”

Neil’s parents, Jan and Colin said of the fund-raiser: “We are just overwhelmed with it to be honest, with the support for it and with the support we have had as well.”

To donate to the cause go to www.justgiving.com and search for ‘Haverhill Running Club’.