FORMER Sky Sports pundit Rodney Marsh visited Stoke City’s Clayton Wood Training Ground this morning to help raise funds for local charity the Donna Louise Children’s Hospice - by cleaning the boots of the first team squad.
The 69-year-old caused a storm on social media after saying he would “drive to Stoke and personally clean every players boots" if the Potters were ever shown first on the BBC’s Match of the Day.
Shortly after making the comment, Mark Hughes’ side were selected for the opening game on the popular BBC show following their dramatic victory over Chelsea in December, in which Oussama Assaidi struck a late winner.
After a flurry of messages from Stoke players and supporters, Marsh admits he was more than happy to complete his bet.
“It’s all a bit of fun and it’s for a fantastic cause,” he said moments before undergoing the boot clean.
“I never thought they would be first on Match of the Day, of course it happened and here I am keeping my word.
“Not only was it a fantastic result for Stoke, it was a fantastic game. I must say fair play to all the Stoke fans for getting behind the club, it’s great to see.
“The fundraiser is great for the Donna Louise Childrens Hospice because it gives them a bit of exposure and hopefully tempts people to donate to the charity.
“They’re a great local charity and after working with them over the past few months, I was delighted to get involved and help raise awareness,” he added.
The Potters have delivered a successful first season under the tenure of manager Mark Hughes and the Club are on course to finish in the top half of the Premier League for the first time since gaining promotion in 2008.
Marsh says he has been surprised by City’s sixth consecutive Premier League season and revealed his admiration for the Potters boss, but believes the Club’s biggest test will come next season.
“I’m a big fan of Mark Hughes, he has done a magnificent job here in just his first season,” he admitted.
“The Club have done well to be in for a shout of a top half finish, but the biggest test will come next year and whether they can keep the momentum going.
“It depends on whether they can bring in more exciting players and my thinking is that it will probably remain the same... But we have seen that I’ve been wrong before haven’t we.”
To sponsor Rodney’s boot scrub challenge and help support the work of The Donna Louise Children’s Hospice, go to www.justgiving.com/bootscrub Or text “BOOT63 £AMOUNT” to 70070.