Photo thanks to Graham Brown.

As a footballer, he is used to tackling tricky obstacles… but none as daunting as a 5,895-metre dormant volcano.

That is the challenge Isle of Wight man John McKie has set himself next year, as he swaps his studs and football socks for a pair of hiking boots.

The Cowes Sports captain is planning to climb Africa’s highest mountain, Mount Kilimanjaro – in a bid to raise money for charity Make A Wish UK.

He said:

“I just want to help raise money for children that I know it could make a difference to their life.

“I know that if it was my children in that position I would want them to have some sort of joy. Something like this could change the way they think.”

The 30-year-old, who was recently appointed as the Yachtsmen’s player-manager, has been on fine form this season and even scored a goal of the season contender last week.

However, it is a different target he is planning to hit this time around – with a fundraising appeal well underway.

John has so far gathered just under £700 of a £4,400 goal – something which he says he is extremely grateful for:

“I mean I had a couple of weeks ago a donation of over £500 from an anonymous person so whoever that is… thank you very much.

“It inspires others to donate you know just to keep spreading it. Once one person starts the next do it and it becomes a culture behaviour so I think it’s a great thing and I’m really grateful to everyone.”

The father of four is not stopping there though.

He has even promised to shave off his beloved locks, but only if he reaches a separate target of £200:

“If anyone is donating they have to leave a comment on the Just Giving page relating to the hair then I know it’s specific to that. So we’re currently at £65 out of £200 that is just for the hair.

“We will do a push this week and then probably just for the matchday on Saturday  (23) there’ll be some coverage there as well so I think we’ll hit that.”

As well as the Just Giving page, which can be found here, John has also organised a fundraising event at Gurnard Pines on 27 April.

Tickets can be bought from John who is available via phone (07731956987) or email at [email protected]