Daughter's Great Wall of China trek in memory Burnley FC-loving dad

Debbie King with her dad, Michael
Debbie King with her dad, Michael

A solicitor is to trek along one of the Seven Wonders of the World in memory of her dad who died two years ago.

Debbie King is joining a group of Pendleside Hospice supporters and walking part of the Great Wall of China next September to raise money for the hospice where her father Michael King spent his final days.

Mum-of-two Debbie (44), who lives in Rossendale and is head of corporate at Farleys Solicitors, who have offices across East Lancashire, has set herself a target of £5,000 to raise for the hospice over the next 12 months.

Her first fundraiser was a champagne afternoon tea for 35 women last weekend which raised £850.

She said: “I have always wanted to do something exciting like going to China and after my dad was looked after so well at Pendleside I’ve wanted to raise money for them, so this ticks all the boxes.”

Her dad Michael died at the hospice aged 71. A few days later there was a minute’s round of applause at his beloved Turf Moor at a match between Burnley and Swansea City.

His connection with the Clarets was professional as well as being a passionate fan.

Michael’s company Booth King Partnership, consulting, structural, and civil engineers, were the agents for the redevelopment of the James Hargreaves and Jimmy McIlroy stands and he was ground safety officer until his retirement.

Debbie said: “My dad was a mad keen Burnley fan and his favourite player was Ben Mee. He would have been really chuffed to see him as captain now.”

Debbie has two sons Jacob (15), who plays in the Clarets Academy, and Toby (14), who is a member of Rossendale Valley Juniors.

She said: “Pendleside gave amazing care to my dad as well as to the whole family including myself, my mum and my sister Clare. It’s such an incredible place with fantastic staff who treat you with so much affection.

“They really couldn’t have taken better care of him or us.”

People can make a donation at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/debbie-king44
Sammi Graham, head of events and fundraising officer, said: “This trek is the ideal challenge for those with a passion for history and a sense of adventure and gives trekkers the opportunity to discover China’s hidden charms, astounding cultural past, traditions and mythology well off the tourist trail.

The registration fee is £349pp and then you can choose to self fund your trip (£1,645) or raise a minimum sponsorship amount (£2,800), which covers the cost of your trek as well as supporting Pendleside Hospice.

Anyone interested in taking part in the Great Wall of China Trek should contact Sammi on 01282 440136.