Flintshire soldier's marathon yomp to support Help for Heroes

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A GLAMOUR model is supporting a soldier’s bid to raise money for Help for Heroes by jogging the length of an ancient pathway from North to South Wales.

Former Big Brother winner Sophie Rheade, 21, was the first to sponsor Michael Collins as he plans the marathon which he hopes to complete in a week sleeping rough along the way.

Michael, 33, a corporal with the Royal Welsh, will take on the 177-mile Offa’s Dyke, a ridge of land built in Anglo-Saxon times that links the Irish Sea at Prestatyn with the River Severn at Chepstow in the South.

Michael was born in Connah’s Quay, went to Connah's Quay High School and grew up in Wepre.

He is now a father living in Nantwich, Cheshire, which is Sophie’s home town.

He returned from a tour of duty in Afghanistan in September.

He is also sponsored by Nantwich law firm William B Rose which has made Help for Heroes its chosen charity.

With only a bag-pack and a one man tent, Michael will set off on Friday, November 12. He said: “It’s going to be cold and tough but nothing compared to what the lads are facing out there in Afghanistan .

“They have been really touched by the way British people have got behind the charity and this seems the very least I can do while I’m home on leave.”

Sophie is planning to take part in her second London Marathon for the charity in April. The pin-up has also posed for a fundraising calendar and hopes to go out to see the troops next year.

She said: “It’s great what Michael is doing when he could be putting his feet up and enjoying a break before going back to Afghanistan.

“I am only too pleased to become his first sponsor and hope more local people will do the same.”

Employment law specialists William B. Rose on Welsh Row, Nantwich, is a collection centre for funds.

Senior partner Bobby Ahmed said: “It is extremely important to provide support for our soldiers because people often forget how they put their lives at risk to ensure our safety and maintain the freedoms we enjoy in our country.”

Anyone who would like to sponsor Michael is asked to call the office on 0845 600 4996.

See full story in the Leader

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