Ref’s trek up Kilimanjaro

Stuart's Trek SUS-171013-125239001
Stuart's Trek SUS-171013-125239001

A football referee is taking on the challenge of a lifetime in memory of his girlfriend’s father who died at St Wilfrid’s Hospice last month.

Housing support worker Stuart McKenzie, 34 of Polegate, left last Wednesday to take part in the Kilimanjaro Challenge.

He is joined by former Premier League referee Mark Halsey trekking on Machame Route over eight days.

The Trek finishes on Friday October 20. The During the trek he will be taking part in a football match at 5730 metres above sea level breaking a Guinness world record for the highest game of football.

All 40 players and officials will walk up the mountain, play the game and then walk down. It will take a total of 8 days up the Machame Route.

Stuart is doing this in memory of his girlfriend’s dad Leonard Thom who died of cancer last month.

Len was 72 when he passed away, and lived in Eastbourne and worked for local architects.

Stuart said: “This is a massive task to undertake but I am determined to succeed.

“It has all happened very quickly as I only found out three weeks ago as I was a reserve for a referee who dropped out.”

“I never thought I had a chance of being selected so I was thrilled when I received an email saying I was going.

“I am determined to succeed in memory of Len - he was a great man and my girlfriend Julia and I miss him dearly.

“He was a very special man - so warm and kind. I know he would approve of what I am doing.