Fundraiser 'Touchline Tony' in training for milestone 30th Great South Run

  • ITV Meridian's Christine Alsford meets 'Touchline Tony' as he prepares for his 30th Great South run.

Anthony Male - known throughout Portsmouth as "Touchline Tony" - has raised half a million pounds for charity over the years - and next month he takes on his 30th Great South Run.

And his good deeds have earned him a nomination in this year's Pride of Britain awards in the Regional Fundraiser of the Year category.

For three decades he's been running to raise money - and for almost as long as that he's been linked with Portsmouth FC.

He's a well known face in the city - and got his nickname from the days when he worked at Fratton Park as a compere, carrying out interviews on the touchline and writing in the programme.

"It got my profile of what I was doing for charity out there," he said.

"You've got 18, 19, 20 thousand people in a stadium that gave me a bigger audience and it's helped me raise so much more money."

Touchline Tony earned his nickname from his days as a compere at Fratton Park interviewing players and the public on the touchline Credit: Simon Mills Photography

Tony started running for charity after the death of his mother from cancer and many of the good causes he donates to today are cancer charities - like the Oakley Waterman Caravan Foundation.

It was set up by former Pompey player Dave Waterman after his young son died and provides holidays to families with sick children.

"The bloke's a true legend," said Dave. "When we lost Oakley to cancer - Tony just come straight on board. Everything I've ever asked for on a fundraiser - he's always been there.

"The 20 years we've been going I couldn't calculate how much he's raised for us but it's helped us to come through a really difficult time in our lives."

Tony Male and Dave Waterman have completed the Great South Run together Credit: Tony Male

Tony also runs a team of former Pompey players who take part in charity matches to raise funds - and puts on music events at Baffin Milton Rovers FC where he is vice chairman.

He regularly persuades all sorts of people to join him on his charity runs including former Portsmouth players.

"I wear a Pompey top - the other runners that run with me wear Pompey tops so we get stopped and have photographs. It's great when you're running and people come past banging you on the back saying "Good Luck Touchline".

This year, among those running with him for charity will be the manager of Baffins Milton Rovers FC Danny Thompson.

"He's infectious - he's got an infectious personality," he said. "It's tremendous what he's done for the city and the local area - if ever there's a fundraising event goes on he's always the first one to throw his name in the hat to do something."

The Daily Mirror Pride of Britain Awards celebrates the unsung heroes who go above and beyond to make their communities and the country a better place.

Nominated by the public, the winners come from all walks of life, of all ages, and from all over the country.

They will come together with stars from television for a glittering ceremony in London, broadcast on ITV.

Among them will be two winners from the Meridian region, picked from a shortlist of inspiring nominees.

Each day this week – on our 6pm programme and online – we'll showcase those who are in the running. The winner will be revealed on Friday's programme.

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