A group of philanthropic  former pupils of a Chester high  school undertook not one but  two hardcore physical challenges at the weekend to raise  money for Alder Hey Children’s  Hospital after learning the  daughter of one of their favourite  teachers had leukaemia. 

Danny Piggott, 19, Matt McCann,  19, Brad Stanley, 19, Callum Bowness,  20, Elliot Pryce, 19, Peter Boxall, 19,  Daryl Ruane, 19, and Alex Pryce, 22,   were devastated when they heard of  the plight of three-year-old Erin  Cross, whose father Antony Cross is  head of design technology at Bishops’  Blue Coat CE High  School in Great Boughton.

They completed Tough Mudder, a  12-mile obstacle course designed by  the Special Forces to test stamina  and mental grit, on Saturday (October 5).

The boys, who call themeslves  Erin’s Army, completed the gruelling  assault course, in which they endured electric shocks and ice baths,  in two hours.

 

They couldn’t put their feet up for  long though as they ran the 26-mile  race the next day (Sunday, October 6),  finishing it in five hours, 30 minutes.

They have so far raised £1,460 for  Alder Hey’s oncology department.

Danny said: “Mr Cross was a DT  and form teacher to all of us at some  point and he helped us a lot.

“We wanted to raise money in some  way and  decided to take it one step  further and do both Tough Mudder  and the marathon.

“Tough Mudder was definitely  harder on our bodies than the marathon. It required real teamwork and  determination.

“It has been a pleasure to raise  money for Erin and others like her.”

Erin suffers from acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, a cancer of the  white blood cells and has to have  chemotherapy every day.

Erin’s mum Sarah said: “Antony  and I were extremely emotional  when we first heard what the students wanted to do to support Erin.

“We have supported them all the  way helping to promote their fundraising, and we were there on the  day of the marathon to celebrate with  them at the finish line and take them  for a much needed beer!”

This isn’t the first fundraising  event done in the toddler’s name,  with deputy headteacher Peter  Coates raising £2,000 by running the  Chester Half Marathon earlier in the  year.

To donate, visit www.justgiving.com/ErinsArmy.