STEVE HALL “DOING THE 92”!
By Keith Nicol / 2010-10-07 06:50:58
It’s all over for Torrevieja’s Steve Hall. 127 days and 3,060 miles later, after being knocked off his bike and spending a day or two in hospital, his quest to visit all 92 English League football clubs has now been completed.
He started on May 19 and four months later, on September 23, averaging around 25-miles per days, usually in the wind and rain, he finished his challenge at the home of Bobby Moore, Geoff Hurst and Martin Peters, West Ham United.
He is now taking a well earned rest before returning to the saddle to visit even more football clubs around the world, all in the name of raising awareness for the growing number of displaced refuges, now estimated to be 45-million; people without a home, through no fault of their own.
Steve is possibly one of the best-known networkers in Torrevieja. He started up at least a dozen self-help clubs for expats, manages the www.ThisIsSpain.Info web site, has given advice on living and moving to Spain on radio, TV, newspapers and countless forum sites, was a pioneer in offering an alternative phone service to the ‘Big T’, organized the first ‘This is Spain’ and local property and is a staunch supporter of Manchester United, Real Madrid, Gillingham and Torrevieja football teams.
During the summer of 2009 he started to help promote his friend and former professional footballer Bjorn Heidenstrom on his mission to cycle from Oslo to South Africa to raise awareness of the world’s 45 million refugees who have no home and little hope. Bjorn was collecting hundreds of football shirts which were sown together to make one gigantic shirt with had its own Marquee tent at the opening of the world cup.
Steve and Bjorn have already received massive support from FIFA, UEFA and hundreds of clubs from the VERY biggest (Barcelona, Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool) to the most humble level 7 clubs in hamlets in deepest Latvia.
They have also received support from celebrities such as Sir Elton John, Iron Maiden, Slade, Ricky Valance, The Liverpool Legends and many national football associations from Bhutan to Belgium, Ireland to Italy and everything/everybody in between!
Steve feels that he's been blessed in life and aside from surviving three ex-wives and a few health scares over the past twenty years, he has been moved by Bjorn’s mission and so has taken up the mantle himself, not to try and raise funds, but awareness of the mammoth task that exists for refugees all around the world, who outnumber the population of Spain!
During the trip Steve received tremendous support from different and sometimes surprising sectors of the community. He slept on friend’s floors and sofas, in bed bug infected hostels, a few lovely hotels, a few not planned days in hospital, all on a budget of 20 euros per day.
He always stresses that no matter how uncomfortable he might have felt during his trip, it is nothing compared to the millions of refugees, many of whom had to drop everything and flee their homes to escape certain death or abuse, mainly in the war ravaged countries of the African continent.
Apart from being knocked of his bike he also suffered his own loss as a mysterious fire on the Costa del Sol destroyed everything that he owned and had collected over the years, including furniture and clothes to his prized collection of football programs and football souvenirs, which had been collecting from the age of six.
Not content with completing and surviving ‘Doing the 92’, he’s now having a few days well earned rest and hopefully returning to Torrevieja, albeit possession less, for even more networking and to catch up with close friends. What's next? Steve says “The Big One. I intend to cycle from Spain through Europe and up to Norway to meet Bjørn Heidenstrøm.
Then it's a Trans-Atlantic cruise liner (spinning in their gyms, of course!) before a trip of a lifetime cycling from New York through Mexico, Central America and on to Brazil for the 2014 World Cup finals! This will be a two-year challenge and one which I trust will end with Spain retaining the World Cup! I am already looking for my first 1,000 supporters (@ just one pound) who will follow me (virtually, of course!) during my quest.”
For more information, please visit www.theshirt2010.co.uk, catch him on Facebook and hopefully if we all can do something, no matter how small, in our own lives that might help raise awareness of the refugee problem, then Steve has achieved and succeeded in making a difference.