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Streak-busting Tennessee win prompts radio host Larry Glover's walk for charity

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Matt Roark quarterbacked UK to a 10-7 win over Tennessee, triggering Matt Roark quarterbacked UK to a 10-7 win over Tennessee, triggering "Cats Win for Kids." (Brett Marshall, UK Athletics)
It started with a comment made in passing on his radio show.

On an August installment of Larry Glover Live, he fielded a call from an optimistic Kentucky football fan. The caller was convinced UK was going to win the 2011 Southeastern Conference title, but Glover tried to slow him down.

Not wanting fans to get to ahead of themselves, Glover said the first concern should be defeating a pair of conference powers the Wildcats had long losing streaks against.

" 'If they just beat Tennessee or Florida, I'll walk from Somerset to Lexington if it happens,' " Glover recalls telling the caller.

His proclamation was brought up routinely on the show, but Glover was relatively sure he could keep his walking shoes in the closet after the Cats fell to the Gators in September. He felt even safer when Matt Roark, a player who hadn't played the position since high school, took his first shotgun snap at quarterback against Tennessee.

"When I found out that Max (Smith) wouldn't play and they'd have a wide receiver playing quarterback, I felt pretty comfortable," Glover said.

The rest, of course, is history.

UK would end a 26-year drought with an unlikely 10-7 win over the Volunteers, touching off a raucous celebration. Glover, knowing his listeners well, could rest assured he would be made to keep his word.

"When it happened, it was kind of a surreal moment," Glover said. "The next time I was on the air, I had people on the air calling in asking when I was going to do it. They were going to hold me to it."

That's when "Cats Win for Kids" was born.

"I decided to do it, but I told my audience I would only do it if we could raise some money for a good cause," Glover said.

Glover would make the 75-mile trek between Somerset and Lexington in support of the Shriners Hospital for Children, a cause near to Glover's heart. His daughter was born three-and-a-half year ago with club feet and has been successfully treated at the Lexington branch of the hospital for nearly her entire life.

Two weeks ago, Glover began his lengthy walk, breaking it up into seven- to 10-mile chunks. On Thursday, he concluded his journey with a 12-mile hike from just south of Nicholasville to the place where it all really started: Commonwealth Stadium.

"I'm glad that it's over, but I'm glad that I did it," Glover said. "It's for a very worthy cause and it's a way to commemorate the win over Tennessee and at the same time draw some attention to an organization that really needs help."

Donations for "Cats Win for Kids" are still being accepted. Click on this link to learn more.

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