ANDY BURROWS: The League One play-off final is just a couple of days away, and we first talked to this group of Posh fans last night. They’ve decided to kill some time with a walk round the football grounds of London. It was organised long before the final was switched to Old Trafford, but they’re doing it anyway. Let’s see how they’r getting on. It’s all in aid of the Free Kicks Foundation. The founder of the charity is the Posh fan Steve Thorpe. He’s on the line. Hello to you Steve.
STEVE THORPE: Hi Andy.
ANDY BURROWS: So where are you? What can you see?
STEVE THORPE: We’ve just left Millwall actually. So we’re just on the last leg of the day, heading towards Crystal Palace, which is probably about seven miles away. So another couple of hours and we’ll be finished for the day. (HORNS BLOWING)
ANDY BURROWS: You’re getting beeped at as well, by people going past. That’s London people for you. They’ll beep their horns at anything. Which grounds have you taken in today?
STEVE THORPE: Today we started off at a hotel in Barking, and we walked to Dagenham & Redbridge, where they were very nice, and invited us in, and let us take pictures, and let us sort our feet out a bit. Then we went on to Charlton, who again were very nice, and they let us in for pictures. And then, just now, to Millwall. And then we’re finishing at Crystal Palace. So it’s only been four grounds today. And it’s been a long old day today, but at least it’s been dry, whereas yesterday it was very very wet.
ANDY BURROWS: And as we know, because we talked before you set out on this epic voyage, this was always going to be the dangerous leg, wasn’t it? Millwall. (LAUGHTER).
STEVE THORPE. Yes. It’e been alright actually, We’ve been surprised. We haven’t lost anybody yet. (LAUGHTER)
ANDY BURROWS: You mentioned last night there was a guy who was running between grounds. Is he still with you?
STEVE THORPE: He’s with us but he’s walking now.
ANDY BURROWS: (CRUEL LAUGHTER)
STEVE THORPE: He had his day running yesterday, but I think injuries and tiredness has put paid to that. So he’s back w alking with us now.
ANDY BURROWS: Now are you all walking kind of Indian file, if you like, or are you walking as one big group?
STEVE THORPE: It’s kind of splitting into groups now. There’s a faster group, and then there’s a slower group. So there’s guys who just want to get on. They’re a bit fitter, and they most probably just want to walk through the pain a bit more, to get done. And they’ve gone on ahead. And there’s another of us which is the slower group, just walking at a gentle pace.
ANDY BURROWS: And how are you filling in the time? What are you talking about? Are you solely talking about the game on Sunday?
STEVE THORPE: To be honest, we haven’t talked about .. I’ve barely thought about the game on Sunday, just because it’s .. we’re just constantly walking and walking. It’s been a good release from worries about what’s going to happen on Sunday to be honest.
ANDY BURROWS: Right, let me worry you a little bit, OK?
STEVE THORPE: OK.
ANDY BURROWS: Right. How do you think it’s going to go?
STEVE THORPE: How do I think it’s going to go. I think as long as we play very well, which we did against Milton Keynes, we will win. Because I think if we can create chances, Craig can score chances, Boydie can score and Tomlin can score. I think we’ve probably got the better firepower up front. It’s just whether we’re tight at the back I think.
ANDY BURROWS: Well we’ve just spoken to the Club and you won’t know this, because you’re down in that there London. But they say the players arrived today. They’re all happily in a hotel tonight, but they’ve done the tourist bit. They’ve got it out of their system. They’ve gone along today, all took their cameras, took pictures, had a little walk on the pitch, stuff like that. And then it was off to Carrington to get some training in. So they’ve got the tourist bit out of their system. It’a all systems go now.
STEVE THORPE: Excellent. I think the preparation is going to be second to none. Everything will be done right as well. Obviously, with Fergie’s connections up there, I think everything will be done right. And we’ve obviously got the best training facilities, and they’ve got more chance to sample Old Trafford than Huddersfield. So we can’t blame, I don’t think we can blame anything on the preparation if it does go wrong. But I don’t think it will. I think we’ll be alright.
ANDY BURROWS: Good stuff. We should just remind people that you’re raising money for your charity. How much are you hoping to raise? Have you got a target?
STEVE THORPE: We’re hoping to beat last year’s total, which was about five and a half. I know the last time we looked on the Just Giving we were about two thousand two hundred. I think, with the Gift Aid to go on, other bits and bobs on sponsor forms, and the text giving as well, I think we’ll probably get close to that, close to the five thousand.
ANDY BURROWS: Good man. And grounds tomorrow? Where have you got to go?
STEVE THORPE: Tomorrow we start back again at Crystal Palace, and we go to Chelsea, to Fulham, To QPR, to Brentford, and then on to Wembley. So we’re all looking forward to tomorrow, because there’s a few shorter walks tomorrow. It’s only about a mile and a half from Chelsea to Fulham, so we’re definitely looking forward to that one.
ANDY BURROWS: And are you coming home before you go to Old Trafford?
STEVE THORPE: Yes. Posh have kindly lent us their minibus, so we’ve got someone coming to pick us up from Wembley tomorrow evening. get a good night’s sleep, and then I think we’re leaving Wembley about half eight on Sunday morning.
ANDY BURROWS: Sounds like whoever’s driving the minibus has got the most important job of all.
STEVE THORPE: That’s Andy Mills. He’s done a good job for us.
ANDY BURROWS: If he’s late, there’s going to be trouble.
STEVE THORPE: I think actually, what he’s doing, I think he’s driving us home to Peterborough, and then driving straight up to Manchester. Because he’s got a hotel Saturday night. So It’s a big thank you to him really, for helping us out.
ANDY BURROWS: Well keep going mate. Well done.
STEVE THORPE: Thanks Andy.
ANDY BURROWS: And we’ll speak to you very very soon. Steve Thorpe that was, Posh fan, who’s leading the Peterborough United fans, I think it’s about fifteen of them last night, from ground to ground throughout London. Just a few more to go.
FREE KICKS FOUNDATION –The 2011 Big Fundraiser – Roads to Wembley