Walkers Bring On The Subs

The four charity walkers making their way from the Download Festival site at Donington Park to London’s Hyde Park were forced to bring on some substitutes after two of them were forced to pull out because of injury.

First to go was Live Nation UK chief exec Paul Latham, who has foot injuries so bad that he’s been confined to a wheelchair since his part in the 145-mile road trek ended.

Next to go was Latham’s LN UK colleague, chief ops officer John Probyn, who had to take a break when one of his ankles refused to carry on. He was expected to re-join the others when the ankle consents.

“I pretty much trashed my feet in the first 12 miles,” Latham told Pollstar. “I got treatment at 18 miles to draw blood out of my feet and toes so we could finish the first 28 miles.”

At the end of the first day Latham had surgical treatment on his feet, the details of which wouldn’t make good reading, then he “foolishly” tried to soldier on for the second day.

“I didn’t last two miles before blood was squelching in my trainers so I got out at the next opportunity. I’ve been in a wheelchair ever since,” he explained.

By the beginning of the fourth day, Irish promoter Denis Desmond and London agent Carl Leighton-Pope were the only two of the four original walkers to still be on their feet.

The first man to come off the substitutes’ bench was Festival Republic chief Melvin Benn, who two years ago led a dozen of his staff on a 270-miles cycling trip across East Africa to raise money for Kenyan orphans. He stood in (or rather walked in) for Latham, although other business meant he couldn’t stay for more than a day.

Other substitutes were already lining up on the touchline.

Live Nation chief Michael Rapino may have trouble contacting his top execs in London as two more of them came in to replace Probyn and Benn, whose company is a joint venture between LN and Desmond.

Joining the walk on the fourth day were former Warner Music International chief exec John Reid, who’s been LN’s president of European concerts since the beginning of the year, and European president of touring Phil Bowdery.
The walkers – or what’s left of them – were due to reach Hyde Park June 15.

Latham and Probyn were walking for Cancer Research and can be sponsored justgiving.com/tlw

Desmond is walking for the Christina Noble Children’s Foundation and can be sponsored at www.cncf.org

Leighton-Pope is walking for Honeypot, which is also a children’s charity, and he can be sponsored at www.justgiving.com/CarlLP