PE teacher Phil Villa had to call on all his physical and mental strength to complete a muscle busting walk in aid of St David's Hospice Care.

But Mr Villa, 55, had the memory of his late wife Jane at the front of his mind as he fought to complete 100 miles in 100 hours to raise money for the hospice that cared for her as she battled stomach cancer.

Mr Villa, of Oakdale, initially set himself a target of raising £1,000. But this was soon smashed as support piled in from family, friends and the community, and the total reached £7,035 for his epic five-day ordeal.

The Blackwood Comprehensive School PE teacher, whose wife succumbed to cancer in April after a two year battle, said: "Throughout the walk, I was in a good space mentally. I had my wife's memory at the forefront of my mind. I also had tremendous support which was a great help.

“The PE department were very supportive. My family live near Kidderminster and my dad and sister surprised me by coming down and joining the walk. Other members of my family across the UK have also done a few miles and sent me the videos.”


On his 100-mile journey Mr Villa, a father of four - Kerryann, 40, Sammyjo, 32, Emily, 21 and Charlie, 20 - and a grandfather to five, was joined by several people in the community, which he said had helped to keep him motivated.

“Of the whole challenge, I only did four walks on my own, the rest I had people walking with me," he said.

"This helped to keep me going and I cannot thank everyone enough.”

Mr Villa had made sure to do some training beforehand, accumulating around 120 hours of walking his dog and timed walks and also inspired others to get involved in their own way.

“The last 15-20 miles was the toughest part as I could feel the pain in my toes, but it felt like I was on autopilot knowing I was near the end," he said.

Phil had special praise for the staff at the hospice who cared for his late wife Jane: "The St David's Hospice Care nurses are incredible."

Kris Broome, of St David's Hospice Care said: "Phil demonstrated immense strength, both physically and mentally, to complete his momentous walk to raise vital funds for the hospice for which we are extremely grateful."

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