AFC Portchester Vets return to playing after gruelling March spent pounding the streets for charity

AFC Portchester Vets returned to action at the weekend after a gruelling March spent pounding the streets for charity.

Monday, 12th April 2021, 8:40 am
AFC Portchester Vets, ready to return to playing after a gruelling March running for charity. Back (from left): Mike Counsell, Dean Stanton, Peter Sanderson, Lee Cook, Simon Hore, Ian Clark, Jim Stewart, Karl Davies, Ben Tiller, John Roby. Front: Rob Smith, Keith Ashton, David Cooper, Lee Jones, Marty Keech, Stew Parsons, Keith McIntyre. Picture: Chris Moorhouse

Squad members - whose ages range from 35 to 48 - were challenged to raise money for the Portchester Food Pantry project.

The brainchild of player Peter Sanderson, the squad were given a pre-March target of running 1,200 miles in the month between them, with the aim of raising £1,000.

Both totals were smashed, with the squad running a total of 1,405 miles and raising over £1,600.

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Pete Sanderson scores one of his five goals for AFC Portchester Vets against Team Figgins. Picture: Chris Moorhouse

Sanderson racked up 200 miles in the 30-day period, averaging 6.5 miles a day. He also ran the joint-longest single run - 20 miles - along with Keith Ashton whose March total was 181 miles.

‘A few couldn’t reach their targets due to injuries or they were just too stretched,’ reported Sanderson, ‘but others stepped up and went way beyond their initial targets to make sure we reached the team targets.’

It was Sanderson’s third charity running challenge since the first lockdown was introduced last March.

First, he ran a marathon in the road where he lives to raise money for AFC Portchester youth teams - he manages an under-9 side himself.

AFC Portchester Vets (orange) v Team Figgins. Picture: Chris Moorhouse

Then, last November, Sanderson and Warren Chebby ran 5k a day to raise funds for the Food Pantry, a scheme initially based at AFC Portchester FC last spring but since last summer run out of the town’s Methodist Church.

Portchester Vets, who play in the Meon Valley League, were back in action on Sunday in a friendly at Hawks’ Westleigh Park.

They took on Team Figgins - one of the sides competing in this year’s Friends Fighting Cancer football tournament which will be played at Westleigh Park and Portchester’s Crest Finance Stadium this summer.

Sanderson netted five goals in a 7-7 draw with Matt Hague and Tristan Herbert also on target.

Team Figgins celebrate a goal against AFC Portchester Vets. Picture: Chris Moorhouse
Team Figgins (blue) v AFC Portchester Vets. Picture: Chris Moorhouse
Keith McIntyre (left) in action for AFC Portchester Vets against Team Figgins. Lee Cook, who also normally plays for Portchester Vets, gives chase. Picture: Chris Moorhouse
AFC Portchester Vets trio (from left) John Roby, Ian Clark and Stew Parsons. Jim Stewart, who is also a Portchester squad member, is wearing the blue of Team Figgins. Picture: Chris Moorhouse
All eyes on the ball during the AFC Portchester Vets (orange) v Team Figgins friendly at Westleigh Park. Picture: Chris Moorhouse
Team Figgins (blue) v AFC Portchester Vets. Picture: Chris Moorhouse.
Pete Sanderson taps in from close range for one of his five goals for AFC Portchester Vets against Team Figgins. Picture: Chris Moorhouse
AFC Portchester Vets' Matt Turner (left). Picture: Chris Moorhouse