Former England, Aston Villa and Stoke City midfielder Lee Hendrie is taking part in the Virgin Money London Marathon on April 26th 2015 to raise money for Cure Leukaemia.
Hendrie, 37, who recently opened ‘The Lee Hendrie Academy’ for girls and boys aged 16-19, has been affiliated with Cure Leukaemia since he became an ambassador for the Club Legends Cup football tournament that took place in July 2014.
The talented midfielder, who made over 250 appearances for Aston Villa, was inspired to take on the famous 26 mile challenge after meeting some of Cure Leukaemia’s fantastic patients and fundraisers at the charity’s annual dinner in October this year.
Lee said, "when I saw some of the amazing people who give so much time and effort to raise money for Cure Leukaemia in October it really inspired me to look into how I can do more to help. I heard the charity had a place for the Virgin Money London Marathon and I decided to go for it!"
Lee, like many in footballing community, became aware of the work Cure Leukaemia support after former Aston Villa Captain Stiliyan Petrov was diagnosed with acute leukaemia in 2012. Football united in support of the former Bulgaria International and Lee hopes football can once again show support for the charity that helped save Stiliyan’s life.
"After Stan was diagnosed it really raised awareness of leukaemia in the football community and throughout 2014 I got to know the team at Cure Leukaemia and the amazing work they do to support the doctors and nurses across the Midlands who helped Stan.
I hope that fans of all clubs will unite and get behind me to help raise lots of money for the charity because I know it will directly help patients battling this terrible disease."
Chief Executive of Cure Leukaemia James McLaughlin said,
“we are thrilled Lee is taking on this amazing challenge for us next year. I know how much training and time it will take to prepare for the Virgin Money London Marathon and we are so excited to have such a well-known figure representing Cure Leukaemia in April.
I hope the whole footballing community will show him great support and help raise significant funds for this great charity.”
Lee helped Cure Leukaemia secure the fundraising from Brindleyplace’s Dragonboat festival for the next two years this December by attending the public vote in the main square at Brindleyplace and stated he’s already planning his training regime, ‘I will enjoy myself at Christmas and then throw myself into training in the new year. I still play a lot of football so I have a decent level of fitness already but I know I will need to put the miles in before April. The trouble is, I’m so competitive I will want to win!”
WATCH: Lee Hendrie talks to Paul Franks on BBC WM