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Give your support to Walk4Matt

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Matt Hampson says he is thrilled by the support a charity walk to the Guinness Premiership final is receiving.

Walk4Matt will leave Rugby on Friday, May 8 and finish at the Guinness Premiership final at Twickenham on Saturday, May 16.

The walk is being held to raise money for the Matt Hampson Trust, SpecialEffect and other designated charities chosen by each participating club. It has the backing of the 12 Guinness Premiership clubs, Premier Rugby Ltd and the Professional Rugby Players Association.

Now Matt and fellow organisers are looking for more people to take part. You don't have to cover the full distance, pick a day to join in and raise money for some fantastic causes.

Matt said: “I am thrilled with the support the walk has received from all across the Rugby family – players, coaches, Guinness Premiership clubs and the England squad – especially in the walk’s inaugural year.

“The money raised will make a real difference to young people with disabilities, spinal cord research and other valuable causes from the Premiership clubs’ designated charities.

“I am very much looking forward to the fun and banter with rugby fans on the walk and us all coming together on the pitch before the Guinness Premiership final.”

Tigers' legendary full-back Dusty Hare will be walking the whole route.

Dusty said: “In my experience, one of the things that sets rugby apart is the fact that players, supporters and officials see themselves as part of one big family.

“That is certainly the case when it comes to looking after those, like Matt, whose career and life has been affected by serious injury.

“Walk4Matt is a fantastic event and it is great news that it has the support from all of the Guinness Premiership clubs and so many people in the rugby world.”

Tigers head coach Richard Cockerill added: “Matt is such a courageous and positive young guy that these events deserve great support.

“I hope as many rugby supporters as possible, from all the clubs, can do their bit by either being sponsored to walk part of the route or by offering sponsorship to others taking part.”

England manager and Tigers’ legend Martin Johnson is another to give the walk his backing.

He said: “On behalf of the whole England squad and staff, I am delighted to offer our wholehearted support to the Matt Hampson Walk.

“Matt is an incredible young man and his courage is a huge motivation to us all in the rugby world and beyond.

“The issue of care for players who have sustained serious injury is one close to my heart, as well as everyone in the rugby family. I am sure the walk will be a great success and I look forward to seeing everyone there.”

Hampson is a patron of SpecialEffect, one of the walk’s designated charities which is dedicated to helping all young people with disabilities to enjoy computer games.

Mick Donegan, of SpecialEffect, said: “Matt’s enthusiasm and drive are an inspiration to all the young people we help to increase their self-confidence and motivation.”

More information is available online at www.walk4matt.org

To support Dusty, he has opened a donation account at www.justgiving.com/dustyhare