A SAILOR is sure to be one very tired officer and a gentleman as he sets off on a 166- mile charity walk in aid of Help for Heroes.

Warrant Officer Dave Chandler will be joined by his Royal Navy buddies, Petty Officers Andy “Gibbo” Gibbs and Robert “Buster” Brown, on the eight-day expedition – walking all the way from Wembley to the Millennium Stadium, in Cardiff.

The caper will see them transporting the official match football for the upcoming Wales versus England match.

The pals set off yesterday and plan to arrive in Cardiff on Saturday, March 26, just in time to hand over the ball to the referee for the sell-out international.

Dave, 42, who grew up in Southend and attended Hadleigh Infant School, before moving to Colchester, said: “We are hoping to raise £15,000 for Help for Heroes through doing this.

“We’re planning to cover about 38 miles a day and will be stopping at Henley on Thames, Swindon, Cheltenham and other places to rest.

“We will be out and about in the towns and cities we stop in, to sell Help for Heroes wristbands and hopefully fill up our buckets with money.

“Being in the Armed Forces, we know friends who have unfortunately lost their legs or suffered other terrible injuries and rely on the charity’s support.”

The lads made a quick pit stop in Laindon to pick up their support car, being loaned to them by the Essex Auto Group. The Ford Galaxy will trail behind them every step of the way, in case they run into trouble.

WO Chandler, who has been in the Navy for 24 years and just returned from serving onboard HMS St Albans, in the Arabian Gulf, added: “I’m based in Portsmouth now, but most of my family still live in Southend, so it was great to come back to Essex to pick up the car.”

Donate to the walk by visiting www.bmycharity.com/ wembleytocardiff2011