Chester legend Grenville Millington has called on the people of Chester and Wrexham to come out in support of his sponsored walk to help raise vital cash for the crisis-hit Blues.
On Tuesday, February 20, the 66-year-old – accompanied by Blues’ fans Ed Jones and Mike Cartwright – will embark on the 13-mile trek from The Racecourse, home of Wrexham, to the Deva Stadium, where they hope to arrive at around 7pm prior to Chester's home clash with Leyton Orient in the National League.
“It didn’t as much shock me, more I was disappointed when I heard the news,” said Drury-based Millington, who also played in the red of Wrexham in his career.
“It’s easy to spend money on players and pay good wages, but when they don’t click then results go downhill, gates fall and it becomes difficult.
“Relegation may happen, we can cope with that as fans, but to go out of business is unthinkable. So I thought I have to get out there and do something to help, I couldn’t just watch and let this happen.
“It’s a fantastic club with several junior teams, the ladies team, Senior Blues, all the community work. If the club goes, that all dies with it and we can’t let that happen.
“Chester isn’t about the building, the players, the people who are paid by the club.
“It’s about noise, passion, the youngsters going to their first game with their parents, seeing that hallowed turf for the first time and falling in love with the football club, just like we all did years ago.
“It’s about passion and about having something the city can be proud of. It’s for all those kids who are in the junior teams and will be the future lifeblood of this great club.”
Jones, an experienced walker who has just undertaken a section of the Great Wall of China in aid of the Alzheimer’s Society, is part of the new fundraising group set up by the CFU and will be an able support on the path to the Deva for Millington, who believes a new target of over £2,000 is well within reach.
“Our target was £1,1000 but we’re well over £1,1000 so Ed has reset the target to £1,500,” he said.
“But I think we’ll be past that before the walk so we will look to raise over £2,000 which would be fantastic.
“Ed is not long back from walking the Great Wall of China but I said to him that’ll be nothing compared to walking up the A483!
“He said we might need a support vehicle, I think we might need the ambulance!
“Ed’s an experienced walker and we have Mark on board too now which is great. We’ll be stopping off in a few pubs on the way to try and raise even more money. Then if we can get to Chester for about 7pm, we hope to go into the Blues Bar, get more donations and then finish up on the pitch itself.”
Millington also stressed arch rivals Wrexham have been ‘fantastic’ in their support of the walk, and believes football fans from the region of Premier League clubs will also give up some of their hard-earned cash to help Chester.
“I must add that Wrexham have been fantastic too and have promised to give us a send-off from The Racecourse,” he added.
“The best time to ask Wrexham for anything is when they’re top of the league, they’ll do anything for you! But they’ve been superb and it’s a footballing town that won’t want to see this happen to any club.
“Chester is a football city too, our only problem is most of the people are Liverpool, Everton or Manchester United fans. But I think they will all chuck a fiver our way too as they don’t want to see their local club die.”
Blues legend Gary Talbot, who is throwing his weight behind the fundraising cause, added: “It’s a fantastic challenge Grenville and Ed are undertaking and hopefully they raise plenty of money to help save the Blues.
“It’s been a shock to the system for everyone what has happened but the way the people of Chester Football Club have stepped up to help save the club has been wonderful to see.”
To sponsor Grenville, Ed and Mark on their fundraising walk from Wrexham to Chester, you can donate online at: