Grant’s double marathon for local football charity

Photo of Grant Rees and his "support team".
Grant Rees with his “support team”. Inset images: Local football legends Jason Franklin RIP and Darren Butt RIP.

A personal trainer from Bradley Stoke is aiming to run 52 miles in a single day to raise funds for a charity set up to honour the memory of two local footballers.

Grant Rees will be taking on the ‘Two Legends, Two Marathons’ challenge on Sunday 25th April in aid of the Franklin Butt Foundation, a Patchway-based charity which supports initiatives to help young children in the local community who are vulnerable or disadvantaged.

The charity is named after Jason Franklin and Darren Butt, two former Patchway Town FC players who lost their lives in tragic circumstances in 2019 and 2020 respectively.

Grant, who grew up in Patchway and was a teammate of Jason and Darren, says he dreamt up the fundraising challenge as a way of keeping fit and healthy at a time when large-scale organised sporting events are not able to take place due to Covid-19 restrictions.

The double marathon will see him visit the grounds of every team that the successful Patchway Reserves played at during their double (league and cup) winning season in 2004/5, when both Jason and Darren were in the squad.

Grant’s endurance run will be formed of 15 legs, on each of which he will be accompanied by five other runners (in compliance with current Covid-19 guidelines). Each leg is available for sponsorship by a local business and donations will also be made by the runners taking part.

The final leg of the gruelling day will be from the Gloucestershire FA headquarters at Oaklands Park, Almondsbury (scene of the Patchway Reserves’ 2004/5 cup victory) to Scott Park, Patchway, where a specially commissioned bench was installed last year in memory of Jason and Darren.

Grant said:

“All monies raised will go to supporting initiatives in and around Patchway. One beneficiary will be Mamas Bristol CIC who provide important help to people within the community who may be needing support; and currently due to the impact of Covid-19 that number is going up. As well as supporting Mamas Bristol CIC, the money will be used to support sporting initiatives to help youngsters get into sport and remove any financial barriers.”

To sponsor Grant, please visit his dedicated GoFundMe page at gofund.me/162cc41b

• See also the Franklin Butt Foundation page on Facebook

This article originally appeared in the May 2021 issue of the Bradley Stoke Journal magazine (on pages 16 & 17). The magazine is delivered FREE, nine times a year, to ALL 8,700 homes in Bradley Stoke. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.

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