A FORMER world champion boxer has completed the latest challenge in his thrill-seeking life.

Darlington’s first boxing world champion Stuart Hall, and friends John Hall and Graham Walker, completed the 100-mile Teesdale Way walk - raising more than £1,000 for a local mental health charity in the process.

It took the trio - and two dogs - six days to trek and camp through wild weather, but Stuart said he was relieved to reach the finish line at Teessmouth on Monday morning.

Over the course of a ten-year professional career that featured five World title fights, 21 victories and 244 rounds of competition, Stuart became one of the town's greatest ever sports competitors.

The 41-year-old competed in 30 fights at England's biggest arenas but admitted the Teesdale test was tough for everyone involved.

The Northern Echo:

"It was very much a case of all the gear, no idea," Stuart said while stood at the finish line.

"We didn't know how hard it was and we were carrying so much on our backs for the first few days."

The group started in Dufton, Cumbria, and travelled along the Teesdale Way, stopping at campsites and in villages en route.

"The first day across the hills was really hard," Stuart added. "We didn't know how tough it was going to be but we're here at the finish now."

The group raised money for the North East-based charity Anxious Minds, which provides help and support to people with mental health issues.

The past year and a half of lockdown reminded the trio of the struggles people can go through with their mental health and they wanted to help.

Stuart said: "It's a great charity. There was a lot of people doubting we would do it but once the money started coming in it came in fast.

"I'm proud because it's been a really tough thing to do."

The former IBF bantamweight title holder said getting a dog in lockdown "changed my life" and was delighted Penny joined him for the ride.

The trio have yet to decide on where their next challenge lies and are all looking forward to some well-earned rest and recuperation after six days of walking.

Stuart added: "We're going to go home have a rest and maybe set our sites on something else to hopefully raise more money for charity in the future."

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