Boy, 11, completes 700km run - one for every point Bristol Bears conceded

11-year-old Toby Fletcher crosses finish line at Ashton Gate to complete 718 kilometre run
Toby crosses the finish line at Ashton Gate Credit: ITV News

An 11-year-old has completed an epic 718 km run to raise money for the hospice that helped look after his grandmother after she was diagnosed with cancer.

Toby Fletcher set out to run a kilometre for every point conceded by the Bristol Bears rugby team last season.

He started last September and has raised almost £20,000 for St Peter's Hospice, covering more kilometres than from his Frampton Cotterell home to Paris.

"It's been difficult, getting out and doing it is the hard part," he admitted. "It was annoying (when Bears conceded points) but half way through the season I didn't really care about the result as I knew we wouldn't get relegated or be in the play-offs. If we just didn't concede I was happy!"

Toby having completed his challenge Credit: ITV

Mum Claire, who ran much of the challenge with Toby, said everywhere they went was a run.

"Whether it was to football training, rugby training or even a haircut, we had to run," she said. He was desperate for it to finish but he has been saying he's going to miss it. It's been tough but good."

Like many charities the pandemic brought extra pressures for St Peter's, based at Brentry in Bristol, but it's the coming years they say could prove even more challenging with donations stretched by rising prices and competing appeals.

Chief Executive Frank Noble explained: "I think costs are going to exceed our income for the next two or three years. We could reduce our services but we're going to enhance them because the people of Bristol have supported us and we want to give back and we know the need is there. The only way we can do that is to dip into our reserves."

Credit: ITV

Toby's donation alone will pay for the home care of more than 50 patients.

"We closed five beds during the pandemic," Mr Noble added. " We're reopening those to our full compliment of 15. The real limit on us at the moment is recruitment as everyone is finding, it's a struggle."

They, like St Peters, grateful for a remarkable efforts of one 11-year-old boy who next season will focus on how many points his team score, rather than concede.