A Benson father with incurable blood cancer is set to take on a three-day walking challenge between 12 of London’s most iconic football stadiums in a bid to fund a cure.

Simon Cowlard, a youth football coach, will undertake the 45-mile trek starting on June 26.

On the first day of the challenge, Mr Cowlard and seven friends will walk 11 miles from Tottenham Hotspur to Charlton, with stops along the way at Arsenal, Leyton Orient and West Ham.

Simon Cowlard and his son OscarSimon Cowlard and his son Oscar (Image: Simon Cowlard)

Day two will involve a 17-mile journey from Millwall to Wimbledon, including a stop at Crystal Palace.

The third and final day will see the team walk from Chelsea to Wembley, with stops at Fulham, Brentford and QPR.

Diagnosed with myeloma in February 2022, Mr Cowlard is hoping to raise £5,000 for Myeloma UK.

He said: "Fundraising has been a good distraction, I really needed something to keep me positive after my diagnosis.

Simon Cowlard with his son Oscar and wife MarwaSimon Cowlard with his son Oscar and wife Marwa (Image: Simon Cowlard)

“And now, after the whole process of chemo and a stem cell transplant, it helps me feel normal. 

"You don’t want to be ‘Simon the lad that’s got cancer’. I’m known locally for being football crazy, so the walk ticked all the boxes for me."

Two years ago, having been experiencing back and chest pains for a few weeks, he was rushed to A&E when, after a walk with his family, his legs started to go numb.

A scan revealed a tumour pressing on his spine. He was only 46 when diagnosed with myeloma, a condition he had never heard of before.

He said: "Myeloma is a cancer they do not have a cure for at present but there are treatments.

"If it can give me the slimmest of chances of living longer, then that’s my motivation."

Simon Cowlard and his son OscarSimon Cowlard and his son Oscar (Image: Simon Cowlard)

More than half of patients face a wait of more than five months to receive the right diagnosis, with a third diagnosed through A&E as Mr Cowlard was.

By that point, many of those with the illness are experiencing severe or life-threatening symptoms.

In the UK, it affects more than 24,000 people and is the third most common type of blood cancer.

While it is incurable, myeloma is treatable in the majority of cases. Treatment is aimed at controlling the disease, relieving the complications and symptoms it causes, and extending and improving patients’ quality of life.

The team has amassed £4,100 so far, and remain hopeful on passing their £5,000 target.

Since his diagnosis, Mr Cowlard’s efforts through various fundraising events, including a celebrity football match involving professional players and the cast of Hollyoaks, have raised more than £26,500 for Myeloma UK.