Lifelong Coventry City fan walked to Russia for World Cup - The Coventry Observer

13th Aug, 2022

Lifelong Coventry City fan walked to Russia for World Cup

Felix Nobes 2nd Jul, 2018 Updated: 2nd Jul, 2018

A LIFELONG Coventry City fan has embarked on a mission to walk around the world to raise money for a charity which supports retired servicemen and their families – while stopping off at the World Cup in Russia.

He is five months into his journey and has just left Saint Petersburg after watching England’s final group game.

Dave Mills, aged 48, is hoping to complete his challenge of walking around the world from his front door in Bedworth.

His journey will see him travel through Europe, Asia and the Americas.

He left in February with no fixed return date – but estimates it could take him between 18 months to two years.

He served for 14 years in the British Army and says he was inspired by the work of the Warwickshire and Coventry branch of the Soldiers Sailors Airmen and Families Association (SSAFA).

He dedicated his journey to the head of the charity’s local branch, Kevin Bowman.

Dave said: “Despite suffering life changing injuries whilst serving in the army, my friend (Kevin) has since dedicated himself to helping those who are having difficulties coping outside of the military, for whatever reason, be it physical, psychological, social or financial.”

Dave has raised nearly £1,000 but has set himself a target of £5,000.

He says he also wants to explore other cultures while proving to himself his daring objective is attainable.

He was also happy the World Cup in Russia coincided with his voyage.

“I have unfortunately picked up the addiction of supporting England and despite knowing it’s bad for my health, that nothing good will ever come of it and abject disappointment is only a penalty kick away, I am still unable to shake the habit,” he said.

He caught all of England’s group games; the first in Volgograd against Tunisia, the second versus Panama in Nizhney Novgorad and the third in St Petersburg as England faced Belgium.

Dave, who has attended two World Cups already, has a passion for football and can be seen wearing his Sky Blues hat on his blog.

In the last five years he completed a degree in paramedic science at Coventry University and went on to do a masters qualification.

Dave says he also wants to help and draw attention to people suffering because of pointless wars.

He said: “I would like to help every human being affected by war but I have to be realistic. That is why I am hoping to raise money for SSAFA so I can at least start by helping those who live in my part of the world. But from small acorns, mighty oaks grow?”

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