Gavin’s 12-stadium ground hop will raise funds for hospital that cared for his son

An AFC Wimbledon fan is getting ready for a 60-mile trawl around all of London’s professional football grounds – just in time for his team’s next home game at the weekend.

Gavin Leonard, accompanied by his close friend Simon Arscott, is embarking on the trek to raise £5,000 for the Neo-Natal Unit at St Peter’s Hospital in Chertsey – by way of a thank you for the vital care given to new-born son Lorcan.

They will begin their 24-hour marathon on Friday at around 2pm from Brentford FC’s Gtech Community Stadium, and take in 10 more grounds on the way to Wimbledon’s Plough Lane Stadium.

The aim is to complete 5,000 steps every hour, totalling an impressive 120,000 steps throughout the entire journey – hopefully in time to watch Wimbledon’s game against Salford City on Saturday.

The route will pass the grounds of QPR, Fulham, Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur, Leyton Orient, West Ham, Millwall, Charlton, Crystal Palace, Sutton United and AFC Wimbledon.

Gavin, 32, who lives in Wimbledon and works as an assistant headteacher in Leatherhead, has been a season ticket holder with the Dons for 10 years since moving from Ireland. He has persuaded Gillingham fan Simon, 42, to join him on the venture.

Gavin said: “My wife Emma and I want to say thank you for the care and support our new-born son Lorcan received at St Peter’s. In June 2023, Lorcan was born with Achondroplasia, a rare genetic bone condition affecting approximately one in 27,000 births.

“Although Lorcan is now a vibrant and healthy eight-month-old, his early days were spent in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at St Peter’s Hospital.

“The invaluable care and support our family received during that time, has inspired me to want to help the specialist unit that helped our son thrive and in a small way help them to help other families.”

In addition to supporting the Neo-Natal Unit at St Peter’s Hospital, Gavin is also raising funds for Tommy’s, a charity dedicated to research in miscarriage, early pregnancy, and baby loss.

For more information or to support Gavin Leonard and Simon Arscott’s fundraising efforts, please visit

Pictured top: Gavin with Lorcan at Plough Lane (Picture: Gavin Leonard)

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