CHELMSFORD City fans are set to hike 270 miles from Chelmsford to Torquay for an away fixture – all in aid of charity.

Homelessness organisation Cool to be Kind, City of Chelmsford Mencap, and the club’s own football in the community scheme will be the beneficiaries.

Starting on the day of the Clarets home clash with Weston Super Mare on March 16, they hope to arrive in Torquay on the day of City’s away fixture against Truro City a week later. The walk will each day take the form of a relay, with two groups of supporters each doing a leg of around eighteen miles.

Clarets boss Rod Stringer has given his support to the walkers.

He said: “These boys are what the football club is all about. It’s supporters who make a football club.

“And this time they won’t be just going the extra mile.

“They’ll be going the extra 270 miles. It’s why I’m proud to be the manager of Chelmsford City.”

The group have already raised more than £2,000 for the cause.

One of the walkers, Jon Read, said: “We’ve all been delighted with the response from fellow fans, family, friends and through our media outlets.

“Our Just Giving page has quickly reached over £2,000 and is growing.

“Our unofficial total is currently standing at £2,700 and I’m very hopeful we can pledge over a thousand pounds to Cool to be Kind, Chelmsford Mencap and CCFC’s Community programmes.

“Last week, we were humbled to receive a staggering donation of £1,000 from an anonymous benefactor, to whom we are incredibly thankful.

“Gestures like this will keep us all going on those rainy 6am starts when the blisters are kicking in. Two local businesses, Premier Print & Promotion of Feering, and Endeavour Drilling Ltd have kindly sponsored some fetching T-shirts for us, so at least we might look the part on the outside.

“The team have all been out tramping the hills to prepare, and we can’t wait to crack on with it on Saturday March 16 – we’ll be having a small ceremony at 2pm at the stadium gates to kick start the big Stairway to Devon push”.

Cool to be Kind founder Brian McGovern said he was amazed one anonymous donor gave a thousand pounds.

He said: “We have enjoyed a great relationship with CCFC and the Clarets supporters for over a year which I’m sure will flourish for years to come.

“For the lads to undertake this challenge in our name and other great causes is brilliant and we will be checking their progress daily and updating our website.

“We also want people to know that we support what is known as Housing First. The idea is that homeless people get a home first, and then any issues they may have are addressed. Rather than the other way around.”