Former Saints player starts 1000 mile run - visiting every Premier League stadium in the country

Francis Benali swaps his football boots for running shoes for Cancer Research.

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Former Saints players starts 1000 mile - visiting every Premier League stadium in the UK

Francis Benali prepares for 1000-mile run Credit: ITV news

Francis Benali, the former Saints defender, is about to tackle his toughest match-up yet - running nearly 1000 miles in three weeks to raise £1million for Cancer Research UK.

'Benali's Big Run' starts on Sunday 24th August at St James Park, home of Newcastle United and finishes at St Mary's - on Saturday 13th September - coincidentally when Saints take on the Magpies in the Barclays Premier League. He aims to visit every Premier League stadium on the way.

The ex-defender, who club spent over 20 years of his career with Southampton, said: "I've been told that 'I'm mad', 'it can't be done', 'don't do it' - but it's made me even more determined to succeed. This challenge has been nagging away at the back of my head for years. It's hugely demanding I agree, but that's why I'm so motivated to do it. Cancer Research UK is a fantastic charity and has made a difference to many thousands of families in the UK. I want to raise as much money as possible - it would be great to hit £1 million, but every pound counts. Thank you to everyone who has sponsored me so far."

Benali has been preparing for his big challenge by running around Southampton in the summer often covering over 20 miles a day.

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