Oldham Athletic chair, 73, to row across Atlantic Ocean to raise funds for Alzheimer’s Research UK


By Arjun Sanganee | Tuesday 29 August 2023

This December, Chair of Oldham Athletic A.F.C, Frank Rothwell, will race solo and unsupported across the Atlantic as part of the World’s Toughest Row.

This incredible challenge will take the 73-year-old grandfather 3,000-miles across the world’s second largest ocean, from the Canary Islands to Antigua, with the aim of raising another £1 million for Alzheimer’s Research UK.

This will be the second time that Frank has taken on this challenge for the charity, having raised over £1.1 million when he previously completed the row in February 2021. This saw him become the Guinness World Record holder for the ‘Oldest person to row across the Atlantic’.

This time, Frank has named his boat ‘For A Cure,’ to reflect the charity’s mission to find a cure for dementia, something personally important to him. While he was away during the 2020 race, Frank received the heartbreaking news that his brother-in-law, Roger, had passed away with Alzheimer’s at the age of 62. Earlier this year, Frank also lost his best friend, who passed away with the disease. He hopes to raise as much awareness and money as possible for Alzheimer’s Research UK so that, one day, every person is free from the heartbreak caused by dementia.

Alzheimer’s Research UK is the UK’s leading dementia research charity, striving to find a cure by revolutionising the way we treat, diagnose, and prevent dementia. Iceland Foods Charitable Foundation, a long-term partner and supporter of the charity, will be generously match-funding the first £100,000 of donations made to Frank’s JustGiving page.

Frank Rothwell said:

“I’m back and ready to row across the Atlantic Ocean solo – for the second time! This time, I’m 73-years-old and even busier than I was before, having become the proud owner of Oldham Athletic A.F.C. But I’m a big believer in living life with no regrets, which is why I want to race again this year.

Speaking about why he’s taking on the challenge for the second time, Frank added:

“I’m not frightened of the challenge ahead, but I am frightened of Alzheimer’s. I’ve seen the heartbreak that it causes. Sadly, I’ve lost two people that I love to dementia, my brother-in-law, Roger, during my 2020 race, and my best friend only a couple of months ago. It’s devastating. I don’t want others to go through it, so I am determined to help Alzheimer’s Research UK change lives. I’ve renamed my boat ‘For A Cure,’ because that’s what I’m racing for. I’m racing to end the heartbreak of dementia. I would be incredibly grateful to anyone who is able to support me by donating.”


Headshot of Alzheimer's Research UK's Chief Executive, Hilary Evans.Hilary Evans, Chief Executive at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:

“We are in awe of Frank for deciding to race again for Alzheimer’s Research UK. He raised a phenomenal amount of money for the charity when he crossed the Atlantic during his last race. We are so grateful to Frank for deciding to race again for us and row another 3,000-miles.

“Since Frank’s last row, there has been incredible progress in dementia research, with two new drugs for Alzheimer’s disease proving successful. But this is only just the beginning. At Alzheimer’s Research UK, we exist for a cure, so we can save everyone from the heartbreak of dementia. Frank and Iceland Foods Charitable Foundation’s continued support will help us to get there.

“We’d love to see the public and football community get behind Frank by donating to his JustGiving page if they are able to do so. These donations will raise crucial funds towards accelerating progress for a cure. Thank you, Frank, and the very best of luck from Alzheimer’s Research UK.”


Sir Malcolm Walker, Founder and Executive Chairman of Iceland Foods, said:

“I was absolutely thrilled to hear that Frank was taking on the Atlantic challenge for the second time. His adventurous spirit and determination know no limits and I’m so grateful to him for continuing to support Alzheimer’s Research UK. I am delighted that Iceland Foods Charitable Foundation is supporting Frank’s race through match-funding the first £100,000 donations made to his fundraising page. We are proud to stand with Frank and Alzheimer’s Research UK for a cure for dementia. Good luck, Frank!”


Donate to Frank’s fundraising for Alzheimer’s Research UK here: Frank Rothwell’s World’s Toughest Row Atlantic Challenge 2023 – JustGiving

By submitting a comment you agree to our comments policy.

Leave a Comment

About the author

Arjun Sanganee