Supporters Connor Knowling and Sean Garmory, 28, from Market Deeping have set the bar high for their fundraising challenge, walking 171 miles in honour of Connor’s father-in-law, John Peyser, who died from lung cancer in February this year.
The duo set out early August, walking from Peterborough Football Stadium to Portsmouth Stadium, raising more than £5,000 in the process.
“John was a remarkable man,” Connor said, “He served his country in the RAF for 32 years and the only thing he loved more than serving was his family.
“His legacy inspired me to make a difference and raise awareness of the charity that helped him and his family during this time.”
In 2022, John was one of many who joined the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation awareness campaign, On the Right Path. He campaigned to raise awareness of the disease so others could receive an earlier diagnosis.
Connor went on to say, “Our walk, that we’ve dubbed Posh2Pompey, not only signifies the gruelling lengths we’ll go to honour John but the sport me and John bonded over.
“When I first met John, I was an eager-to-please lad dating his daughter, Amie, but luckily, the conversation resorted to one I was at ease with – football!
“Unfortunately, he was a big Portsmouth fan, but over the years that only led to amazing banter. He’d do anything to force Pompey into my life, whether that was giving Amie a Portsmouth top to sleep in or dropping items off in a Portsmouth bag.
“He was a character like that, so Posh2Pomey seemed the fitting tribute to him from me.”
Why Posh2Pomey means so much
Starting on Sunday 6th August, the duo left their destination of Peterborough Football Stadium and walked an incredible 32 miles in just 10 hours.
Recalling on this, Connor said, “When I first came up with the idea of this mammoth walk, Sean was more than up for it. He is passionate about raising awareness of cancer, having lost his dad to prostate cancer in 2017.
“One thing that has become apparent me since John’s diagnosis is how earth-shattering the impact of cancer has on an individual and their loved ones. It was devastating to see John lose his independence, strength and sight despite his resilience against the disease.
“No one should ever have to endure that but throughout this horrendously isolating and scary time, there were a group of unsung heroes, who supported John and Julia throughout. Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation.”
The charity religiously supported the family. The nurses helped provide understanding, guidance and they checked in weekly to listen to John and Julia’s questions and concerns. They gave John comfort and hope.
“Not only were the charity there for John and his family, but their funding into research of early detection and patient experience is really close to our hearts, giving hope for a brighter future.
“I know the money raised will help this remarkable charity continue to deliver such a personable and purposeful service to other families out there.”
A message from Amie
John’s daughter, Amie joined Connor and Sean each day, walking some of the gruelling miles and delivering food parcels to the boys who set off with nothing more than a backpack.
Not only did Amie get to pay tribute to her dad, but she also got to see how hard Connor and Sean pushed themselves for the challenge.
Amie went on to say, “I’m so proud of them for taking part in such a gruelling challenge. I naively thought they’d be walking on footpaths the whole way, but it absolutely wasn’t It was every terrain imaginable and in true England tradition – all weathers!
“I think I’m most proud of how they’ve stayed positive and upbeat throughout the challenge, despite aching and hurting in every place possible.
“Dad would be overwhelmed, not only because of their task and effort but due the incredible amount of support the boys have had, and the amount they’ve raised for Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation.
“The charity helped him through his darkest moments, and he’d be touched to know they’re doing it in his memory. During dad’s last days, Connor actually told him about his plans for the walk and thought it was brilliant.
“Dad told Connor he thought he was mad for taking on the challenge, but he was delighted Connor would go to those lengths for him.”
Show your support to Connor and Sean by donating to their fundraising page here.