Former footballer John Hartson brought 120 supporters – dubbed Hartson’s heroes – to Fort William to tackle Ben Nevis at the weekend.
The 39-year-old and his wife Sarah, who is originally from Spean Bridge, led the BraveHart Ben Nevis Challenge to mark the fifth anniversary of John’s cancer battle and raise funds for his cancer charity, The John Hartson Foundation.
The couple, who recently celebrated the birth of their third daughter Paige Faith, are regular visitors to the area, home of Sarah’s parents Katherine and James McManus.
The ex-Celtic star spent a lot of time there as he recovered from his gruelling treatment for testicular cancer, which had spread to his lungs and brain, in 2009.
Inspired by the beautiful Highland landscape, he pledged to scale Ben Nevis when he was well. On July 14 2010 – exactly a year after he was fighting for life and on his daughter Lina’s second birthday – John made his dream come true and completed the first BraveHart Challenge, with 70 supporters, raising thousands of pounds for his foundation.
This year’s walk took place on Saturday and was followed by a party in the Nevis Centre to thank everyone in the area for their support while raising more vital funds for the charity.
Mr Hartson, who also starred for Arsenal, West Ham and Wales, said: “I’d like to thank our wonderful supporters who travelled from all over the UK to join us and complete this amazing achievement which has raised thousands of pounds to help people who have cancer, and their families.
“I’ve been up Ben Nevis four times now and it doesn’t get any easier so I’m full of admiration for all these inspirational people who have done it with me. While I’ve enjoyed each time and loved meeting everyone, next year we’re looking for a new challenge which we hope will appeal to even more people.”
For more information about the John Hartson Foundation, or if you would like to make a donation to the charity, visit www.johnhartsonfoundation.co.uk