Bolton’s very own Vernon Kay made it to his hometown after an emotional few days on his ultra ultra marathon for Children in Need.

He told The Bolton News that it was the community spirit and bananas that got him to the finish line at the Bolton Wanderers, Toughsheet Community Stadium, during a live broadcast of Zoe Ball’s Breakfast show.

There were 400 members of the public who cheered Vernon on in anticipation of his arrival, after receiving tickets to be there in a free ballot.

Vernon says that coming back home to Bolton means a lot to him, and it means he can go home now and get back in his old bed, at his parents’ house – in Horwich.

When asked what it was like to go back to his old school St Joseph’s RC High School in Horwich, Vernon said: “It was amazing, my old PE teacher was there, my old physics teacher.

“Some former pupils were there who I haven’t seen since I left school in 1990.

“So, that was great.

“I went round the old dinner hall again, which was exactly the same, and it brought back a lot of good memories because I loved school.”

He says that he was trying to hold his emotions back because he knew he would get emotional on the last day, but it hit him when he crossed the finish line.

Thanks to the generosity of the public, Vernon has raised an incredible £4,014,362 so far.

Vernon said: “I spent a lot of time with Steve The Bucket whose a Royal Marine, and was our bucket carrier.

“And I had an insight into what it’s like – only an insight – to be a Royal Marine, and how mentally strong and prepared they are, and that helped on Wednesday a lot.

“And then when I came in it just all went out the window.

“I’m like hold it together, hold it together, no it’s not gonna happen.

“But who cares?

“£4m for Children in Need, that’s what it’s all about.

“We’re gonna help a lot of people with that.”

He says that it is the ‘the generosity of spirit’ that has pushed him through to the final stage.

He added: “And we’re not talking about people donating.

“We’re talking about people coming out and openly being happy and joyous, and saying lovely things, and not holding back.

“It’s been broad spanning, and it’s that, that’s been amazing.”

His parents Norman and Gladys also came to show their support, including his favourite listener Barbara who he had heard from in a letter she sent when he first started his Radio 2 show, and when she shared her support this week.

The toughest part for Vernon “without a shadow of a doubt” was going over Kinder Scout over the Derbyshire Dales.

He said: “It was hard because we couldn’t see where we were going.

“It wasn’t windy, but it was cold and there was this mist in the air.

“As Peter said it was that fine rain that soaks you through, which was a bit horrific.

“How long have we got?

@theboltonnews What an amazing journey #Vernon has been on! 😍Such an epic entrance. See pur coverage from the day here: #vernonkay #boltonwanderers #bolton #childreninneed ♬ original sound - The Bolton News

“Oh, you’ve got another 8 miles.

“I’m like ‘we’ve been walking for two hours.

“It was different from the running because the running seemed to be all the backs of the legs, and walking and hiking was the front of your legs.

“And that was after the 40-mile day, which bizarrely was the easiest day.

“I say easiest, but the least challenging of the four because the last 10 miles of the first day, I was like I’m never gonna do this because my feet were killing me.

“My ankles were killing me, my knees, my IT band, the hip had gone.

“Thanks to big Nick the masseuse, the sports therapist.

“He saved me, and he built me back, and Wednesday I woke up and I was like I actually feel a lot better than I did.

“And that worked a treat.”

She added: “Because you kind of know how it is, but none of us could have understood how hard that would be for him, and how phenomenal an amount of money he would raise with the great British public.

“We know people are really struggling at the moment and this big man has moved so many people to get up and go and support him, take him chips and pasties, give their last 15p from their purse, people handing him money out of vehicles, people sharing their stories about what they’ve gone through losing partners or poorly kids.

“It’s been so moving.”

When asked what’s next for Vernon, Zoe said that she thinks Vernon will need a “lie down”, and that his body will take a bit of time to recover.

She also said how much she loves Bolton, and that her dad Johnny Ball grew up in Bolton and lived in a corner shop that backed on to a mine, before moving to Blackpool.

He was nicknamed Johnny after John Ball, who played for Bolton Wanderers from 1950 to 1958 and the name stuck.

She added: “So, Bolton is a real special place in the Ball family, and I’ve got lots of really lovely friends in Darwen, so I’m off out in Darwen tonight with my lovely gang.

“I get to drive back up the Moors, and on a day like today it’s gonna be beautiful.

“My heart is so buoyant because we’re just so proud of him.

“There were moments where I was really worried, and I wasn’t sure if he was gonna be able to do it.

“But he clearly had no doubt at all, and his team have been amazing.

“I always feel like I come home when I come here, and I love it up here.

“Can we come again please?

“On behalf of everyone at Radio 2 and everyone at BBC Children in Need, thank to everyone whose supported him, and everyone who has donated, it has meant the world, and is going to help so many families.”

Helen Thomas, Head of Radio 2, gave a special thank you to the people of Bolton for their support.

She said: "The whole BBC Radio 2 and BBC Children in Need teams have been overwhelmed by the reception we have had in Bolton. 

"From all the people who cheered for Vernon on the streets to all of those who watched Zoe Ball’s Breakfast Show from the Bolton Wanderers ground this morning, we could not have had a warmer welcome on a cold November morning. 

"Thank you to everyone who showed up to support our hero on his Children in Need journey to raise millions of pounds for a very worthy cause and thanks so much to the Radio 2 listeners, whose generous donations will make a huge different to the lives of children in need around the UK.” 

Guests on The Zoe Ball Breakfast Show broadcast from Bolton Wanderer’s Football Stadium included, Emeli Sandé, Ultra Naté, Bolton’s Eagley Band, Gemstone Cheer and Dance cheerleaders, Lofty the Lion - the sports mascot for Bolton Wanderers FC, and more.

Children in Need will air on BBC One tonight from 7pm.