THE result may not have gone according to plan on the pitch – but for Sharon Brittan it had already been a winning Saturday when she strode into the stadium grounds on Saturday.

The Bolton Wanderers chairman was part of a fundraising walk which raised around £20,000 to support mental health projects around the town.

Speaking on her arrival at the Wham Stadium before a 1-0 defeat, Brittan said she hoped to make the walk a yearly event.

“It took us six-and-a-half hours and since we met at the hotel this morning it has been so humbling to see the fans who joined us,” she said. “The communication and togetherness is everything I hoped for when the consortium came together to buy a football club.

“The people of Bolton, the town, the fans, have made me so welcome in so many different ways.

“To start raising money for mental health and local charities is something I really wanted to do, something I am really passionate about.

“I am knackered, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t knackered. But I think we have raised more than £20,000 for people who need our support. Hopefully next year I will be able to go and see where the money has gone.”

Dozens of supporters and Bolton Wanderers in the Community staff signed up for the 20-mile trek from the UniBol, with the first finishers reaching Accrington by around 1pm.

Wanderers chief executive, Neil Hart, also completed the walk – and Brittan joked that she would be blaming him for sore feet in the morning!

“This week I have been wondering who on earth had the idea of walking 20 miles, because it is too far,” she laughed.

“I think it was Neil. And I think I signed up perhaps not knowing how far 20 miles was, but at 9.30am this morning I realised it was a long way.

“My legs have gone. I think I’ll be sitting down at Accrington and not standing up again.

“But it is fabulous, I have talked to fans along the way and I have heard some stories along the way. There was an amazing guy with us who has had some difficulties in his life and we were chatting as we were walking, it was great.

“Somebody said to me ‘can we do this an annual event!’. Yes, we can do it as an annual event, any event that brings people together, that raises money for good causes is what we’re about.

"It’s what we want to do at Bolton and that’s what we want to be known for. Good people, working together, doing good things that make a difference and to me, that’s a big tick.”

Money raised will go towards projects run by the club’s charity arm, Bolton Wanderers in the Community, directly benefitting some of the most vulnerable groups.

“It’s very important and one of the reasons that Neil joined us from spending nine years in the community at Burnley Football Club and the work that he did there, I knew would improve the work that we’re doing here, so it’s great,” Brittan said.

“Days like today are exactly are exactly what we bought this club for and we’ve had to do other things to do with the football before we could now focus on doing good. It’s lovely to see you, it really is, and I know what the club means to you guys and it’s a great day and hopefully we’ll have more of these.”