Greater Manchester football club chairman completes row across Atlantic- and beats own world record

The cross Atlantic row was the second completed by Frank Rothwell
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Oldham Athletic Football club chairman Frank Rothwell has completed his second row across the Atlantic. The 73-year-old completed the 3,000 mile row from the Canary Islands to Antigua yesterday (February 15). 

Frank took part in the row to raise money for Alzheimer’s Research UK. With the row done, the total on his JustGiving page stands at over £272,000. Iceland Foods Charitable Foundation generously doubled the first £100,000 in donations made to the page. 

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The row was completed with a time of 64 days 7 hours and 53 minutes. As well as being the second time Frank has completed the World’s Toughest Row challenge, the effort has also beaten the world record set by Frank during his first row in 2021 for the oldest man to complete the challenge. On this occasion, he raised over £1.1 million for the charity. 

There was a slight concern towards the end of the row when Frank’s team lost contact with him after he started to drift off course. However, when connection was restored it was discovered Frank had fallen asleep- but he corrected his course and arrived safely in Antigua. 

Frank bought Oldham Athletic in July 2022, and the club currently sit in the playoffs of the Vanarama Conference. He has previously said that Alzheimer’s Research UK is close to his heart after his brother-in-law and best friend died with the disease. 

Before setting off on his second attempt, Frank said:  “I’ve lost two people to this heartbreaking disease. Earlier this year, my best mate, Phil, passed away with Alzheimer’s. We did so much together, and he was a bloke I loved and respected.

“It was terrible to see him deteriorate so quickly. When the rowing gets tough and I’m missing my wife, Judith, and home, I’ll think about Phil. That’s what will motivate me to keep going.”