A NEWCASTLE United fan has said that she’s “over the moon” and “in dreamland” after having the backing of the club’s new owner Mehrdad Ghodoussi when it comes to a mammoth charity challenge for mental health. 

Most people could only dream of gaining the support of a high-profile name when embarking on a fundraising target, but for football fan Katie Metcalf, this is now a reality. 

At the start of this month, the Durham woman pledged to cover 1000 miles throughout 2022 for the Mental Health Foundation. 

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This involved setting up a fundraising page for the challenge, targeting £150 for the 365 she’d be doing the challenge. However, in just the opening 11 days – the figure has already reached £450; 330 per cent of the initial target, thanks to a generous £100 donation from a donor named ‘Mehrdad’ with a “good luck” message attached. 

After initially thinking it was a joke, the 28-year-old Newcastle United supporter had a follow-up message from Mr Ghodoussi, including a brief interaction on Twitter with the Premier League club owner. 

Katie said: “I received an email notification from Just Giving last night to say a new donation had come in. I looked and saw the donation had come from “Mehrdad”. 

The Northern Echo: The 28-year-old from Durham is doing a 1000-mile challenge across 2022 for mental health. Photo: KATIE METCALFThe 28-year-old from Durham is doing a 1000-mile challenge across 2022 for mental health. Photo: KATIE METCALF

“I couldn’t believe it at first, but he replied to my tweet thanking him too, to wish me luck. 

“I was absolutely over the moon. 

“The new owners of Newcastle are such lovely people. To receive such a generous donation means the world to me and will spur me on to finish this challenge.”

Despite wanting to cover a distance of 1000 miles within the year, the ambitious Durham resident has now altered that target to seven months, due to the support of her new ‘fan’, which will see her walk, run and cycle in all weathers. 

Katie's tweet to Mehrdad Ghodoussi:

There is also another motivation behind wanting to do the challenge, though. Katie, a mental health sufferer, wants to give money to charities that help people battle conditions linked to mental health. 

She added: “This challenge is to help raise funds for the Mental Health Foundation. Like many, I’ve suffered from my own mental health difficulties and wanted to do my bit to help raise awareness and encourage people to look after their mental health. 

Donate to Katie's fundraiser here.

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