Celebrity-inspired charity walk through Worthing

A PENSIONER with an interest in celebrities will be raising money for charity with a 90-mile walk that takes him through Worthing.

John Dodd, 65, is this week taking part in what he has named The June Whitfield Charity Walk, after she agreed to sponsor him for the trek.

He began the impressive walk from his home in Surbiton, Surrey, last week, and stopped at Worthing on Tuesday before heading for Littlehampton and Chichester, among other places, before he finishes in London tomorrow.

Money from the walk will go to Chestnut Tree House children’s hospice, Canine Partners and South East Cancer Help Centre.

John, who takes part in multiple charity walks each year, said: “I enjoy walking. It’s a beautiful way to see the country. I officially retired last year, so this is a lovely way to explore the country and see bits of the country I haven’t seen before, and what a nice way to do it.”

It is not the first time John has organised walks that have been sponsored or named after celebrities.

Last year, he took part in the Ken Dodd birthday walk, and next year he hopes to complete the Christopher Lee 90th birthday walk, which would involve him walking 550 miles to Scotland, where scenes were filmed for the cult movie, The Wicker Man, which Lee starred in.

John has also received sponsorship money from the actor John Hurt, and said he was not afraid to be persistent to meet celebrities he admires.

“I’ll wait by the stage doors to meet them if I need to,” he added.

The pensioner said he did not train specifically for the long-distance walks he takes part in, but keeps fit with his day job of posting leaflets, which results in him walking between five and six miles a day.

To sponsor John, he said people could either donate directly to the charities he is raising for or give money to him when they see him out on his walk.