Mick Cullen

It’s a dedicated football fan who will support his side come thick and thin through the harsh winds and plummeting temperatures of the British winter.

Imagine, though, braving the cold – not to mention the chants of opposition fans – wearing nothing more than a pair of Speedos and some goggles.

Welcome to the wonderful world of Speedo Mick.

Mick’s charity efforts started when he swam the Channel to raise £2,000 for a homeless hostel.

The Everton fan then turned up to the next game at Goodison Park in a pair of blue Speedos, with “Channel Swimmer” written on his chest in blue body paint, to collect money
for charity.

He said: “I’ve swum the Channel, and there’s really no other circumstances in which you could put on a pair of Speedos and stand at a football match, so I thought why not?”

Since then he has regularly taken his seat in the stands in his trademark trunks, come rain, shine, sleet and snow, collecting up to £600 each game from fellow fans and rivals.

He said: “It’s nerve-racking getting out of the car before a game and my heart will be pounding.

"But all the smiles I get from people make me forget my fear.

"The support I receive is everything.

"If there was no support, I’d just be a loony running around in my knickers.”

Now he has become one of the country’s best-loved fundraisers, and a man who has become a fixture in the Premier League calendar on terraces up and down the country.

“I’ve been right at rock bottom, I was homeless,” he says. “I pretty much gave up on myself for a long time.

“But the thing that always inspired me was the fact that no one ever gave up on me.

Now I’m doing all this I’m giving back everything that people gave to me during some really, really tough times.”

Mike has now raised more than £100,000 for local charities, and he is grateful to everyone who makes a donation.

“Let’s face it, I’m a sitting duck wearing what I wear away from home,” he laughs.

“As it is, most fans are brilliant – and every fan who puts a pound in the tin is doing every bit as much as me.”

This is such a simple idea, but Mick’s dedication and brilliant personality have really made it fly. The sight of him in his Speedos, surrounded by fans wrapped up in coats and scarves, sums up that lovely spirit of British eccentricity too.Pride of Sport judges

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