A Lurgan man is appealing for big-hearted Irish League fans to support a special marathon effort raising funds for the hospital that saved his brother’s life
Scott Gordon and his brother Stuart are planning a special Irish League marathon on July 1, visiting 26 teams in the Carling Premiership and Championship to run one mile at each ground around the perimeter of the pitch.
The marathon effort is all happening within a 24-hour period and Scott is determined to succeed after his brother came through a harrowing experience in hospital.
Stuart spent one week on a life support machine in Craigavon Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit following complications during a routine gallstones operation.
The 34-year-old spent another six months in hospital and is still recuperating after the near fatal operation.
Stuart now hopes he can raise at least £5,000 for the ICU and Craigavon Hospital Ward 4 South as a special thank you to the staff that saved his brother’s life.
“We plan to run each mile and then move onto the next ground, ultimately visiting each of grounds in the space of just 24 hours,” said Stuart who plays for Lurgan Town.
“So that’s running 26 miles, driving 300-plus miles all in one day.
“Just one year on and Stuart is still making his way to a full recovery and we would like to pay back the staff of the ICU and ward for the countless hours they spent taking care of him.
“It was a very difficult time for everyone and a very traumatic experience, but the staff were very caring and got us through it.
“This is a special cause for a remarkable young man, and we hope that fans will help us out in our bid to raise a lot of money.
“Linfield fans can come down to Windsor Park and support us by taking part in the run as well as other fans at their grounds.
“We got the idea from the Chris Moyles show and a Comic Relief venture but I can’t recall it being done here. We thought why not? It’s all for a very worthy cause.
“It’s a daunting challenge to complete it in the timeframe we have set but I’m sure we will achieve our objectives.”
The brothers have raised £1,000 to date but their eyes are firmly fixed on their £5,000 target and the response of Irish League supporters has kept their spirits high.
“The fundraising has started but £5,000 remains the target,” added Scott. “Hopefully the fans can help us get there.
“We start at Lisburn Distillery very early in the morning and as the day goes on hopefully we’ll get plenty of support. Of course we don’t expect everyone to come out at 6.30am!
“The response on the Irish League forums has really encouraged us and the running is going well with pre-season training starting. We have been doing short bursts in preparation and we’re both looking forward to hitting our goal, with the help of generous fans.”
Supporters can donate funds at the following websites or learn more about the marathon effort at: www.twitter.com/irishleaguerun, www.facebook.com/irishleaguemarathon, www.irishleaguemarathon.com and at www.irishleaguemarathon.tumblr.com.