A footballer from Wrexham has joined fellow players and staff from Liverpool FC to raise thousands of pounds for a special charity after climbing Mount Snowdon.

Their gruelling five-hour experience – which was supported by first team players - has so far raised £4,090 for the Stephen Darby Foundation, shattering the £3,000 target that was set before the challenge.

Following the Academy’s tough away trip in Snowdonia, the Leader caught up with two Welsh Liverpool FC starlets who not only took part in the charitable climb, but this season also helped the club to their first Youth Cup win since Stephen Darby’s success back in 2007.

For Neco Williams, the 18-year-old LFC Academy right-back from Wrexham, it was his first time going up the highest mountain in Wales.

And despite regularly being tested to the limit when training for the Liverpool FC Academy, he described the hike as an even tougher test.

He said: “We’ve had some good, hard training sessions recently where the Under 18s and Under 23s were joined together, but I’d say that Snowdon was harder!

“I’m from Wrexham originally, but that was my first-time up Mount Snowdon, and we took the longest and hardest path.

“We didn’t really expect it (to be so tough). But once we were at the top, it felt like such a great achievement. The time felt very long, but one of the instructors said that we did it very quick, and one of the quickest times there’s been in years.

“We’ve done very well to raise just shy of £4,000, when our target was £3,000. The likes of James Milner and Jordan Henderson putting money towards it was a big help too.”

The money raised by the team will go to the Stephen Darby Foundation, which supports those who live with motor neurone disease.

Darby, a former Reds defender, set up the charity after being forced to retire from football in September 2018 when he was diagnosed with the condition.

Stephen Darby turned professional with Liverpool FC in 2008 after coming through the Academy where he won back-to-back FA Youth Cups in the two years before.

Academy defender Morgan Boyes, 18, who was born in St Asaph before moving to Chester as a 5-year-old, explained that the demanding ascent up Snowdon was worth every bit of effort.

He said: “It was a challenging walk for me and the lads, but it was all for a great cause. It was far from easy with us choosing the longest and hardest path you could take.

“I suppose for the coaches it was better than training, but for the lads, we were blowing more than normal.”

Neco Williams and Morgan Boyes may well be lining up alongside one another for years to come, with both Liverpool FC and Wales.

Both defenders are currently Wales U19 internationals, awaiting their chances for national and club first team call-ups, a thought which Williams would describe as “a dream come true.”

Neither player has to look far for inspiration.

Trent Alexander-Arnold is a recent graduate of Liverpool FC’s famous Academy, who, on Saturday June 1, helped the club past Tottenham in Madrid to claim their sixth European Cup, after already being the youngest player in history to appear in back-to-back Champions League finals.

Neco Williams has it all to do if he’s to challenge Arnold’s place in the team, but the humble youngster added: “Trent’s a great idol to look up to.

“He was in our position a few years ago, and now look at him. Sometimes, if we’re lucky enough, we get to train with the first team which is a good time to speak to all of the players and get advice.”

If you would like to contribute to the fundraiser for the Stephen Darby Foundation, then follow the link to visit the 'JustGiving' page.