YOUNG footballers from East Renfrewshire have raised pots of cash for charity after travelling the equivalent distance between Europe’s top stadiums.

Along with family members, the Giffnock Soccer Centre’s 2008s team spent January walking, running, cycling and using rowing machines to cover more than 7,500km, as well as completing 24,000 sit-ups and press-ups.

Their efforts saw them complete the length of their planned route between Hampden Park, Wembley Stadium, Madrid’s Santiago Bernabeu, the Stade de France, in Paris, Munich’s Allianz Arena and the Stadio Olimpico, in Rome, ahead of time.

Due to this phenomenal progress, they then decided to go 1,645km further than planned before they finally finished up at the Amsterdam Arena, in the Netherlands, via London by the end of the month.

So far, the fundraising total has gone past £2,300, including gift aid, which will be split between the team’s running costs and Blood Cancer UK.

Richard Laidlaw, head coach for the 2008 year group, told the Barrhead News: “During these difficult times for everyone, and while grassroots football is at a standstill, we feel it is important to keep the kids and their parents active and engaged in physical activity, which is good for our physical and mental health.

“We are also trying to do the right thing for the community, given it is a hard time for charities due to the whole Covid situation.”

The team is one of four in their age group at GSC.

Fellow players from the GSC Reds have been doing 10,000 steps a day to raise money for Glasgow South East Foodbank and the Scottish Cot Death Trust, while the GSC Blacks completed a team 5k to raise funds in December.

The 2008s, however, decided to raise money for Blood Cancer UK as this is a disease that has affected family members of several players in the team.

A spokesman for the charity in Scotland praised the team for its “fantastic work.”

He added: “Thank you for being so amazing and getting out in all weathers to raise funds and support Blood Cancer UK.”

To donate, visit here.