Former Premier League footballer will run to Turf Moor as part of £1million fundraiser

Francis Benali, who comes to Turf moor tonight

Francis Benali, who comes to Turf moor tonight

First published in News This Is Lancashire: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

A FORMER Premier League footballer running nearly 1,000 miles in three weeks to raise £1million for Cancer Research will arrive at Turf Moor tonight.

Francis Benali is visiting all 20 Premier League grounds and running between 40 and 50 miles a day as part of the challenge.

Forty-five-year-old ‘Franny’, who used to play for Southampton, started out at Newcastle’s St James’s Park last Sunday, and will finish at Southampton’s St Mary’s ground on September 13.

Today he will end day five of his challenge at Turf Moor at around 4.30pm, having started off at Hull City.

Tomorrow morning he will depart from the home of the Clarets at 7.15am and make his way on to Everton’s Goodison Park ground.

He said: “I’ve been told that I’m ‘mad’, ‘it can’t be done’, ‘don’t do it’ – but it’s made me even more determined to succeed.

“This challenge has been nagging away at the back of my head for years.

“It’s hugely demanding I agree, but that’s why I’m so motivated to do it.

“Cancer Research UK is a fantastic charity and has made a difference to thousands of people across the UK.

“I can’t thank them enough for their support in helping to make this happen.

“I want to raise as much money as possible.

“It would be great to hit £1million but every pound helps in beating cancer sooner.”

Franny has been backed to complete the herculean effort by his former teammate and friend Matt Le Tissier, who said: “He’s obviously mad but knowing him well I’m sure he will accomplish his challenge.

“I’m hoping to join Fran on some of the route to support him – although there’s no way my knees could take 50 miles in one day – never mind for 21 days in a row.”

To sponsor Franny and donate to Cancer Research UK, text ‘BIGR55’ and your donation (eg. £5) to 70070.

Comments (1)

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2:23pm Thu 28 Aug 14

andy1 says...

People should go and welcome him to Turf Moor like Burnley Fans do for a great cause like this. Hope you double if not triple what you want to raise. Even our mates down the M65 would no doubt support this effort. Good Luck on the Challenge.
People should go and welcome him to Turf Moor like Burnley Fans do for a great cause like this. Hope you double if not triple what you want to raise. Even our mates down the M65 would no doubt support this effort. Good Luck on the Challenge. andy1
  • Score: 7
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