A GROUP of friends celebrated their success after completing a phenomenal 67-mile walk from Doncaster to Bolton.

A total of 26 individuals set off from the Game Cock Pub in Harworth, South Yorkshire on Saturday morning, walking through the day and night to reach their destination.

Only three men were able to complete the gruelling 24-hour journey and they used their last scraps of energy to run up the grand flight of steps at Bolton Town Hall to mark their feat.

Matthew Needham, aged 31, was among the three to complete the walk.

He said: “I’m feeling incredibly fatigued — I’m mentally and physically drained because we have walked all through the night. It is a huge achievement.

“I had never been to Bolton before but by the time we arrived I had been awake for 36 hours and walked more than 70 miles so I was just aiming for the town hall. We enjoyed a drink and some food in Wetherspoons to celebrate and then headed home for a well-earned bath.”

The walkers stopped off at four checkpoints on the way, at around 15-mile intervals, at a cafe in Mexborough, a pub in Denby Dale, a National Trust car park at Saddleworth Moor, and a McDonald’s in Whitefield.

Mr Needham and his friends have been in training for the #ToBoltonforBolton walk for three months, starting with six-mile hikes. They practised the first 32-mile section to prepare a route.

The reason behind their venture was to raise funds for their friend, Matthew Bolton, who was diagnosed with terminal oesophageal cancer in December last year.

More than £9,000 has already been raised for the Harworth man and his family to help ease financial pressures while he is unable to work.

Friend of 16 years, Mr Needham said: “A group of Matthew’s close mates decided we wanted to try and help raise money.

“We got our heads together at the pub. We thought about a bike ride or triathlon, then someone realised his second name was Bolton so we decided we’d walk ‘to Bolton for Bolton’.

“We searched Google maps to see how far it was. It said 67 miles.

“It sounded a long way, but he is a really good friend and this is an important cause. It was harder than we expected!

“We are still trying to raise as much as we can. We have had a fantastic reception. Everyone has really got behind it.”

To donate, visit www.gofundme.com/toboltonforbolton