Ricky Burns completes Highland charity trek for veterans

WORLD champion Ricky Burns has completed a gruelling 96-mile charity trek along the West Highland Way in just three days.

Ricky Burns, the reigning WBA super-lightweight champion, pledged to donate money to an Arbroath-based charity which helps commando veterans. Picture: John Devlin/TSPL

The boxer from Coatbridge and four friends completed the famous footpath between Milngavie and Fort William in 72 hours.

They trekked for 36 miles on the first day, 34 miles on the second and 26 miles on the final day. Most hikers take a five days or a week to complete the route.

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The reigning WBA super-lightweight champion was raising funds for the Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity, formerly known as Yorkhill, and the Royal Marines Charity.

The group were joined along the way by Marines from Arbroath-based 45 Commando.

Burns said: “What a three days, our legs and feet are in bits but we had some laugh and met some great lads. Already planning the next adventure.

“My heels a bit tender but heading to the gym shortly.

“Thanks to everyone for their donations for the walk and also to the lads from 45 commando Royal Marines who joined us along the way. What a laugh we had and looking forward to our next one.”

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Burns told The Scotsman last month how he had met several Marines veterans at boxing nights over the years, and that funds raised from the walk will be donated, via the regiment’s charity, to the 45 Commando Rehabilitation Centre and memorial garden in Arbroath.

Before the trek, Burns had told how training for it had been just as intense as preparing for a big fight.

He added: “After my fights, a few of us like to go away camping, but we couldn’t make up our minds what to do this summer. A friend suggested we do the West Highland Way, and it took off from there.

“We took the decision to do it for charity. Yorkhill is one close to a lot of people up here, and I had said I would do something for the Royal Marines.

“We’ve not set ourselves a target, but we’ll be hoping to raise as much as possible.”

Following his West Highland jaunt, Burns will now refocus his attentions on his day job. His eighth round stoppage of Michele di Rocco in May made him the first Scottish fighter ever to win three world titles at three different weights.