Nottingham Forest legend Garry Birtles to take part in 5k walk for Vicky McClure’s dementia charity

Former Nottingham Forest striker Garry Birtles will take part in a five-kilometre walk finishing at the City Ground to raise money for a dementia charity.

Bloomin’ Dementia was set up earlier this year by Notts actress and Line of Duty star Vicky McClure in partnership with Andy Hallam who works for pub chain Great Northern Inns.

The walk starts from the Forest Recreation Ground and ends at the City Ground.

It takes place on Sunday August 27 at 2pm and Andy has asked former players to take part.

Former Reds forward Garry Birtles has agreed to walk while former defender Colin Barrett, who played in the Reds’ back-to-back European Cup-winning sides in 1979 and 1980 under Brian Clough, remains a possibility.

Des Oldham, from West Bridgford, is organising the event.

Des raised £1,253 for Prostate Cancer UK by running, with a group of Forest and Derby County fans, 20 miles from the City Ground to Pride Park Stadium last December.

Des Oldham.

He said: “We all have ageing parents and grandparents who suffer from dementia. It’s one of those illnesses that probably affects other people more than the person who’s got it.

“Some people with dementia will be walking with relatives walking alongside them.”

Des says the route has been planned so walkers will take in some of the Reds’ history along the way.

The route passes the Orange Tree pub on Shakespeare Street, the site of the old Clinton Arms pub where Forest’s founders met to set up the club in 1865, the Brian Clough Statue in Old Market Square and ends at the City Ground.

The event hopes to raise £2,000 and Des says he hopes around 100 people will take part.

Des said: “The event is called From the Forest, With the Forest, To the Forest. We’re thinking about getting someone to talk about the club’s history as we reach certain points: the Forest Recreation Ground, the Clinton Arms, the Brian Clough Statue.

“Someone saying some facts and a bit of a speech.”

Colin Barrett has booked a holiday on the date of the walk but says there may be a possibility he will still take part.

He said: “I’m booked to go on holiday – but it’s dependent on the weather. Any charity event is worth doing if you get the opportunity.

“Alzheimer’s disease is still unknown to a lot of people and more and more research needs to be done about it. Any money raised is very helpful. From my point of view it’s a no brainer.”

Des says Andy Hallam will meet with film director Jonny Owen, who is a club adviser at the City Ground, to try and get the club on board with the run.

Jonny directed the critically-acclaimed film I Believe in Miracles which documented the Reds’ triumph in Europe, and was invited to become a club adviser following the Reds’ takeover by Greek shipping magnate Evangelos Marinakis.

Des says the walkers will have hourly breaks to take on water and there will be an ‘after party’ at the Southbank in West Bridgford.

It costs £10 to take part in the event and each walker will get a drinks voucher and commemorative t-shirt to show they took part in the event.

And Des says if the walk proves successful, he hopes to organise it each year.

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