INSPIRED by his wife and the charity that helped her, Keith Raymond has set himself a trophy-worthy charity fundraiser.
The 61-year-old is determined to watch a football match in every single round of this season’s FA Cup to raise money for the MS Society.
So far the Gosport resident’s challenge has taken him on a journey of over 3,000 miles. Keith started off with the extra preliminary rounds in August and watched Horndean FC beat Calne Town 7-2.
This Saturday, he will head to the Stadium of Light to see Sunderland play Southampton in the fifth round.
Keith said: ‘My wife Diane was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis nearly 20 years ago and the illness has forced her to give up her job. But she remains so positive and leads an active lifestyle.
‘It is quite unpredictable and we have had a lot of help from the MS Society.
‘I wanted to give something back to them and raise as much money as I could. I set a target of £1,000 and I have already raised nearly £900 so I think I will be able to reach it.
‘Every little bit will help for research and giving aid to those less fortunate.’
So far, Keith has had a number of long journeys, including trips to Newport, in Wales, and Gloucestershire.
But he said that he will go wherever the draw takes him. ‘I decided to pick a club and follow them till they get knocked out and then their victors would be my new team,’ he added.
‘Doing it this way has seen me travel around the country but I thought it was the best way to do it.
‘I picked Horndean as a local club and for a while, it took me to other nearby clubs but now I am heading to Sunderland for the second time.
‘The clubs have been great in getting me in when they heard about what I was doing. But getting to Wembley is going to be a lot harder.’
Keith is staying optimistic though and said he has contacts who could get him to the final.
He said: ‘Now, I am just waiting for the next draw and getting into the quarter and semi-finals.’
To make a donation to Keith visit justgiving.com/keith-raymond
The games Keith has seen so far
Extra preliminary - Horndean 7-2 Calne Town (30 miles)
Preliminary - Petersfield Town 1-2 Horndean (50 miles)
1st qualifying - Horndean 0-5 AFC Portchester (30 miles)
2nd qualifying - Cirencester Town 2-0 AFC Porchester (160 miles)
3rd qualifying - Cirencester Town 1-2 Weymouth (160 miles)
4th qualifying - Weymouth 1-2 Braintree Town (150 miles)
1st round - Braintree 1-1 Newport County (300 miles)
1st round replay - Newport County 1-0 Braintree Town (260 miles)
2nd round - Kidderminster Harriers 4-2 Newport County (300 miles)
3rd round - Kidderminster 0-0 Peterborough (300 miles)
3rd round replay - Peterborough 2-3 Kidderminster (320 miles)
4th round - Sunderland 1-0 Kidderminster (666 miles)