Britain's 'Hardest Geezer' starts new mega-run following England to Euros

Russell Cook - nicknamed the Hardest Geezer - today set off from Wembley Stadium for his initial 352-mile run - he will arrive in the city of Gelsenkirchen by Sunday for England’s opener against Serbia.

An England fan who ran the entire length of Africa for charity has revealed his next challenge - to follow the Three Lions on foot around Germany.

Inspirational Russell Cook - nicknamed the Hardest Geezer - today set off from Wembley Stadium for his initial 352-mile run. He is today heading to Essex to take a ferry from Felixtowe to the Netherlands and then will continue on foot into the host nation.

He aims to arrive in the city of Gelsenkirchen by Sunday for England’s opener against Serbia. Russell, from Worthing, West Sussex, will then run from city to city to follow Gareth Southgate and the England team throughout the tournament.

Britain's 'Hardest Geezer' will arrive in the city of Gelsenkirchen by Sunday for England’s opener against Serbia
Britain's 'Hardest Geezer' will arrive in the city of Gelsenkirchen by Sunday for England’s opener against Serbia

Speaking to the Mirror 30 minutes before he set off, relaxed Russell, who completed his mammoth African trek from Cape Town to Tunisia in April, said: "I am buzzing for it. I love the Euros. It’s amazing when the whole country comes together and backs England.”

If England reach the final he could run in the region of 1,000 miles and although he hasn’t “done the maths” to map out exactly how much time he has between games to reach the next destination, he’s confident he will complete every leg.

“It’ll be a race against the clock but I’m sure I’ll make it and I’m determined to support Gareth and the boys,” he said. “Running in Western Europe compared to running through Africa, with the difference in climate and all the challenges, should be a piece of cake.”

He will don a series of retro England shirts along the way and suspects a few eager England fans may also join him. “Who knows what could happen once the England fans get a few Stellas down them!?” He joked. “But honestly I’m delighted to be back on the road, for a good cause, and doing what I love most. If people spot me along the way please feel free to give me a wave or even run alongside me for a while."

He will be sponsored in his venture by Sports Direct and retro shirt brand Score Draw, donating his sponsorship to The Running Charity - which supports young people who are homeless or have complex needs. Along the way, he will be recording regular video updates to keep the public up to date with his progress through social media.