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Norfolk men to walk 130 miles in memory of popular football player

PUBLISHED: 11:29 04 July 2019 | UPDATED: 16:08 04 July 2019

Mike Rice. Picture: Joe Millett

Mike Rice. Picture: Joe Millett

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A group of six friends are set to walk 130 miles to raise money for East Anglian Air Ambulance (EAAA) and little Harry Deeba, in memory of a much-missed football player.

Mike Rice, right, pictured with his brother Steve at Latitude in 2009. Picture: Martin Wales.Mike Rice, right, pictured with his brother Steve at Latitude in 2009. Picture: Martin Wales.

Steve Rice, Joe Millett, Gavin Millett, Neil Long, Ray Beales and Martin Wales, from Dereham, will walk the whole of Peddars Way and the North Norfolk Coastal Path in just two days.

Michael Rice, a husband, brother and son, died in 2013 suddenly aged 34.

He played football for many years with Necton, Wendling and just prior to his death was the captain of a up-and-coming Gressenhall reserves side.

Mr Wales, a senior paramedic from East of England Ambulance Service Trust who is walking for charity said: "Many of our emergency services, East Anglian Air Ambulance, East of England Ambulance Service and local community first responder volunteers gave Mike every chance of survival, but his death shook all that knew him.

Harry Deeba at Duxford Airfield. Picture: Fernando PinhoHarry Deeba at Duxford Airfield. Picture: Fernando Pinho

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"This walk is a monster 130 miles and is going to be a very hard physically and psychologically. The plan is to complete this walk in around 46-50 hours, however due to distance and fatigue. Tt is more likely to be more than 50 hours of walking."

In Mike's memory Mr Wales created the Michael Rice Annual Invitational shield, which is a football tournament bring players and families together to celebrate some of Mike's loves - football, friends and family.

So far he has raised money for the British Heart Foundation, however this year he has decided to raise money for EAAA and little Harry Deeba.

The Dream Team and Ricey's All Stars ahead of the final of the Mike Rice Invitational Shield at Gressenhall FC.The Dream Team and Ricey's All Stars ahead of the final of the Mike Rice Invitational Shield at Gressenhall FC.

Mr Wales said: "Little Harry just loves helicopters and I am organising for him and his family to come to East Anglian Air Ambulance base to meet the walkers and the crew of EAAA, plus most importantly get to see and sit in the helicopter Anglia One. "

Harry Deeba, two, from Taverham, is undergoing treatment for stage four high risk neuroblastoma, a cancer that forms in nerve tissue, affecting around 100 children each year.

His family are raising money for treatment in New York that could stop the cancer returning.

To donate visit: www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/mike-rice-monster130

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