Three members of the Brentford FC staff have thanked Bees fans for their generous support after raising £20,000 for charity taking on one of the world’s most famous physical challenges. Neil Greig, Chris Haslam and James Purdue were among of tens of thousands of people pounding the streets of London in the name of sport and charity earlier this year. The 2018 Virgin London Marathon took place Sunday 22 April and the Brentford trio were among the 40,000 people who ran from Blackheath to The Mall and covered the 26.2-mile course in blistering temperatures.
The 2018 London Marathon was officially the hottest on record. Temperatures reached 24.1°C (75.3°F) on the day in Central London and conditions on the road would have felt warmer. But Neil, Chris and James got around the course to raise money for their chosen charities.
Neil, the Club’s Head of Medical, and Chris, Head of Athletic Performance, were raising money for Havens Hospices, specifically Little Havens Children’s Hospice. Havens is a charity that provides respite and care for adults and children at the end of their lives. When a family has been told that there’s no cure for their loved one’s illness, Havens Hospices can help to make things as comfortable as possible, controlling pain and medication, offering respite and care.
James, Head of B Team Athletic Performance, ran for Alzheimer’s Research UK, the UK's leading Alzheimer's research charity aiming to defeat dementia. James decided to take on the challenge after the death of his father. He ran in aid of a charity that funds a broad range of research projects to understand dementia and drive towards better diagnosis, preventions and treatments.
Between them around £20,000 was raised for charity with just short of £4,000 being secured by James and the remainder by Neil and Chris for Havens. Donations came from players and staff within the Club while friends, family and some Brentford fans also dug in to their pockets. The three thanked everyone for their support.
Neil said: “It was an incredibly hot day and conditions were tough. Those were not the conditions you would choose to run a marathon in. But when so many people have donated so much money for such a worthy charity, you want to make sure you get to the finish.”
Chris said: “I felt extremely privileged to be able to raise money for such a fantastic charity and that drive me to the finish. They provide care and support to babies, children, adults and families who are experiencing life limiting and/or threatening illnesses. The donations helped me get around the 26-mile course but most importantly it will help individuals and families during those incredibly tough times.”
Neil added: “I’m proud to support the fantastic care offered by Havens. Chris Domoney, our masseur, first got me involved with the charity when there was an opportunity to run the London Marathon in 2015. I had great support then and again the following year. I am pleased that Chris and I could raise more than £15,000 for them this time and we both thank everyone that contributed.”
James said: “After a very tough year with the passing of my father I wanted to run the marathon in aid of a great cause and I was very determined to get to the end. My family has been directly affected by Alzheimer's and I wanted to raise some money for this cause. All donations will go to a great place and I thank everyone that was able to support me.”
There is still time to donated. Sponsor Neil at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/neil-greiglondon18. Sponsor Chris at https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/ChrisHaslam4. Sponsor James at http://www.justgiving.com/owner-email/pleasesponsor/James-Purdue.