Football club score for charity with trek

Pictured (L-R) are Rovers players James Coppinger, Mark Wilson and James O'Connor on their Inca Trek.
Pictured (L-R) are Rovers players James Coppinger, Mark Wilson and James O'Connor on their Inca Trek.

Three professional footballers have scored their biggest goal of the season - completing a 62 mile charity trek across the South American mountains.

Doncaster Rovers stars Mark Wilson, James O’Connor and James Coppinger arrived at the historic lost Peruvian city of Machu Picchu this week as they finished their Inca Trek challenge.

Seven other members of staff and supporters joined the trio in their bid to raise cash for Rovers’ official charity the NSPCC.

The group scaled altitudes of 15,000ft as they walked across the rugged terrain to raise £50,000 towards helping needy children.

It had a tough physical and mental impact on the trekkers - with Wilson and Coppinger having to overcome the horrendous effects of altitude sickness.

But the ten men showed their team spirit and fighting qualities to secure a winning result.

Defender O’Connor, 26, said: “This has been one of the best experiences of my life.

“If there is a more beautiful place on earth then I envy the man who has seen it.

“The altitude has taken its toll on everybody. Copps and Willo were really struggling for a couple of days.

“They were stuck in an oxygen tent all night so that shows the effect it can have.

“Everyone rallied around.”

The intrepid band of explorers, also including sports scientist Ross Burbeary, performance analyst Paul Fernie, media manager Steve Uttley, community manager Liam Scully and fans Brian Butcher, Paul Mayfield and David Plant, have already raised almost £34,000.

Now they are aiming to hit a £50,000 fundraising target from the gruelling six day trip.

O’Connor added: “We’re very thankful to everybody who has donated or given messages of support.

“It’s all been really helpful - but let’s make sure we hit that £50,000 mark.”

To help the group reach their next goal visit www.roversincatrek.co.uk or www.justgiving.com/roversincatrek

Supporters can also text the word INCA to 70777 and £1.50 will be donated to the NSPCC.

Cartoon Page 16