It’s not just the staff who run at Sportlink Running & Fitness as Sportlink Business Partner and Director Danny Mills who along with shop manager Steve Gibbs is going to tackle this year’s Virgin Money London Marathon. See link for more details of Danny’s exciting challenge.
Former England international footballer Danny Mills will pay a special tribute to World Cup-winning captain Bobby Moore when he takes on the 2016 Virgin Money London Marathon on Sunday 24 April.
To mark the 50th year since Moore lifted the Jules Rimet trophy, the ex-Charlton and Leeds right back will don a replica of the famous red shirt worn by the ‘Boys of ‘66’ that day and also pin on runner number 1966 to honour the occasion.
Mills will be running in aid of the Bobby Moore Fund, a charity partner of Cancer Research. The Fund was set up by Moore’s wife Stephanie following his death, aged 51, in 1993 from bowel cancer. To date the Fund has raised over £22 million.
“I’ve been involved with the Fund for few years now,” says Mills. “When this came along and they asked me to run, with it being 50 years since Bobby lifted the trophy and such a big year for them, I said yes.”
The 19-cap Mills is no stranger to the distance, having completed the Brighton Marathon in a wheelchair for another fundraising challenge, and also run the Yorkshire Marathon. After spending the early part of his career in Charlton, the first miles of the London course will be familiar territory for the 38-year-old.
“If you’re going to choose one marathon in world, it would be London,” he says. “It’s a massive box to tick, with all the crowds and supporters in streets. And I’ve been given the opportunity to do it for great cause. You can’t say no.”
Having run Yorkshire in 3:17, Mills insists he is not on a mission to dip under three hours in London, or to make a race of it with fellow ex-pro Clarke Carlisle, who is also running for the Bobby Moore Fund.
“The hardest bit was getting a time out of my head,” he says. “Three-thirty is respectable. I could really go for a time or go out and enjoy it, and that’s the point; to get round in a reasonable time and savour the atmosphere. I want to remember and enjoy the whole experience.”
Wearing the famous red shirt, white shorts and red socks, and with Moore’s famous No. 6 emblazoned on his back, Mills hopes his attire will help raise extra awareness for the cause, and says he has been tailoring his training to accommodate the wear and tear his playing days took on his legs.
“I always enjoyed running in pre-season. I was worth about four times as much as I was when the balls came out and we started playing! I’m a natural runner, but when I got injured at the end of my career it took me two years to be able to run again. I train a bit differently because of that, so I tend not to do really long runs. I do more runs, but they’re shorter to give my knees less of a pounding, and I do a lot of gym work alongside it.
“I never thought I’d be able to do it with my knees, but over time I’ve got stronger. To say you’ve done the London Marathon is a fantastic achievement.”