Ashley Cain: My 3,000-mile Ultraman is to create a legacy for my daughter

Former footballer Ashley Cain has said he hopes to create a “legacy” for his daughter who died from cancer as he runs, cycles and paddles thousands of miles across the UK.

In a physical challenge he calls the Ultraman 2024, the 33-year-old is travelling from Land’s End to John O’Groats three times – once running, once cycling and once kayaking – in a journey of almost 3,000 miles.

The challenge began on April 24, marking the anniversary of Azaylia’s death, and he hopes the Ultraman will create a legacy for his daughter, while raising money for more research into childhood cancer.

The ex-reality TV star told the PA news agency: “The biggest lesson that my daughter ever taught me was that she always smiled, which made me smile, and it showed me that even through your darkest times, where you’re feeling your most pain, you can shine light onto others.

“That’s what I hope to continue to do in my daughter’s legacy.”

Mr Cain, who previously played for Coventry City, said he covers around 45,000 to 50,000 steps daily, which equates to “50,000 moments of acute excruciating pain that (he battles) with every single day”.

Ashley Cain in front of a Devon sign
Ashley Cain is raising money for The Azaylia Foundation’s Childhood Cancer PhD Scholarship Programme (Ashley Cain/PA)

“Through the pain that I feel, I can inspire a nation to believe that no matter what they’re going through, you can always see light at the end of the tunnel.”

Mr Cain is raising money for The Azaylia Foundation’s Childhood Cancer PhD Scholarship Programme, which aims to fund PhD research into childhood cancer.

“We believe that with a PhD, that’s the real way to have the biggest impact in childhood cancer, by bringing new talent and research into that space,” he said.

“Childhood cancer, the number one killer of our children in the UK, they receive 3% of cancer research funding and that’s not enough,” he explained.

“There’s so many different cancers out there that have been researched for adults.

“If the biology of the adult cancer matches the biology of childhood cancer, then we want children to be included in that research and then that way you’ll help absolutely everybody.”

The former footballer said he had “had to count my daughter’s last breaths and I held her in my arms” but hoped that continuing her legacy would make her proud.

“The only thing I ever drive for every day is, I hope I’m making her proud and I never know if I am.

“I never know if I will do in the end, but I just hope that if she’s looking down, that she’s proud.”

Mr Cain hopes to complete his challenge by the end of July and has so far raised £25,672 of his £100,000 Go Fund Me target.

To learn more about the fundraiser, you can visit:

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