Updated: Tuesday, 2nd June 2020 @ 1:57pm

On the trot: Bolton hero Tony Kelly walks to raise money for charities including Hillsborough families

On the trot: Bolton hero Tony Kelly walks to raise money for charities including Hillsborough families

| By Tom Nightingale

Bolton Wanderers fan favourite and former midfielder Tony Kelly is raising money for three charities by walking 50 miles to the club’s Macron Stadium.

The club’s Community Ambassador will walk from his Merseyside hometown of Huyton to the ground via Anfield, Goodison Park and the Trotters’ former home Burnden Park.

Kelly is raising money for the Bolton Wanderers Community Trust, the Gary Parkinson Trust and the Hillsborough family support group.

BWCT work with the community to provide sport, health and education activities whose beneficiaries include the unemployed, disabled people or those with mental health issues, children and teenagers.

Ben Lawton, Trust Manager, was full of praise for Kelly’s charitable campaign. “Tony has a great love for the club,” he explained.

“Two years ago he had a heart attack and after recently turning 50 he wants to give something back.”

Kelly became a terrace hero at Wanderers over his three-year spell with the club from 1991-1994, with fans nicknaming him ‘Zico’ in homage to his playing style and ability.

He was a key figure in Bruce Rioch’s side, making over 140 appearances as the Third Division club achieved promotions in two successive seasons to return to the First Division.

He returned to the club in 2008 as a very popular Fan Liaison Officer and went on to coach the under-18 side before joining the Trust as a Community Ambassador in July 2014.

Despite becoming a converted Trotters fan, Kelly grew up on the outskirts of Liverpool and was a trainee at the club at the age of 18.

Mr Lawton explained that the 50-year-old’s close affinity with Liverpool played a huge role in him deciding to also campaign for the families of Hillsborough.

“Tony was affected personally by what happened at Hillsborough and wants to make a difference for the families of the victims of the tragedy,” the Trust Manager said.

The third cause which Kelly is supporting through his walk is that of his former Trotters teammate Gary Parkinson, who developed locked-in syndrome since suffering a severe stroke in 2010.

“Tony, along with several of the club’s ex-players, has done a lot for Gary in the last few years,” added Mr Lawton.

“We are fully behind him in this charitable cause and everyone at the club and BWCT is extremely proud of what he is doing.”

A JustGiving page with a target of £5000 has been set up for donations to be made to Kelly’s cause over the next nine days.

Kelly will set out from his mother’s Huyton home on Friday October 24 and will arrive at the Macron in time for kick-off in the home game against Brentford the following day.

Supporters are encouraged to join him at Burnden Park for the final leg of his walk on the Saturday morning before walking on to the game.

Donations can be made to this excellent cause at the JustGiving page at https://www.justgiving.com/TonyKellyBWFC/

Main image courtesy of Bolton Wanderers FC via YouTube, with thanks.