These youngsters were on the march – to raise money for children less fortunate than themselves.

They were among more than 800 who took part in a sponsored five-mile walk around the grounds of Blenheim Palace at Woodstock in 1974.

They were led by Oxford United midfield player Steve Aylott, seen in the middle of the picture.

The walk was organised by the Oxford area committee of Action Research for the Crippled Child.

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The proceeds of the ambitious fundraiser went to the National Fund for Research into Crippling Diseases.

Pupils from 10 schools around Oxfordshire signed up for the walk and most of them completed it.

The footballer heard about the event while working during the close season as a porter at the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre at Headington and decided to join them.

One of the organisers, Mr Wheeler, headmaster of the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre school for long-stay child patients, told the Oxford Mail he hoped the walk would raise £1,800.

A similar walk by 350 children at Blenheim Palace in 1973 had raised £800 for the national fund.

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Schools which took part in 1974 were Oxford Boys’ School; Langtree School, Woodcote; Redefield School, Blackbird Leys; Woodcote School; Faringdon Grammar School; King Alfred’s School, Wantage; Abbey School, Berinsfield; Matthew Arnold School, Cumnor; and Icknield School, Watlington.

Burford School could not join the event that day and held its walk the following week.

Blenheim Palace is the home of the OX5 Run, which raises funds for the children’s hospital.