Injured footballer runs marathon and reaches goal

Lee Butcher (Pic by Jon Rigby) PPP-140415-121029003
Lee Butcher (Pic by Jon Rigby) PPP-140415-121029003

A footballer achieved his life-ambition after he ran the London Marathon.

Lee Butcher, 41, of Maidenbower, who played football for a number of clubs in Crawley, completed the 26.2 mile run in four hours 54 minutes despite having a “painful” calf injury on Sunday (April 13).

Lee, a finance worker for UK Power Networks, said: “I wanted to finish in four hours and while I didn’t make that, I did achieve my ambition.

“Ever since seeing the marathon on TV as a teenager I have always wanted to be part of it.

“The running stemmed from the fact that I couldn’t play football any more after breaking my leg quite badly, but marathon running had always been something I always wanted to do, so it has been a lifetime ambition.”

Lee clocked up 255 training miles over the last three months.

He feared he would not be able to take part in the event after he injured his calf two weeks ago.

He said his worst moment was when his the injury started playing up during the run.

Lee said: “I didn’t push myself and from mile ten it was a mix of walking and running.”

His best moment was knowing he had made it when he was cheered on by his father as he was approaching the finish line near Buckingham Palace.

He said: “My dad Tim was there to cheer me on as I passed Buckingham Palace, which was great.”

Despite his post-race aches and pains, he had already signed up for next year’s Brighton Marathon and was hoping to get a place in the 2015 London event.

He said: “I’m definitely going to do it again – I might even go for a marathon in October.”

Lee raised more than £850 for St Catherine’s Hospice in Crawley and hoped the final figure will top £1,000.

He said: “St Catherine’s Hospice does fantastic work with local families at the most difficult time in their lives.

“Living close to the hospice has brought it home to me how important their work is.”

Lee broke his leg playing football in 2010.

The injury left him with a numb leg and restricted movement.

He played football for a number of clubs in and around Crawley including Three Bridges, Oakwood, Horsham and Ifield football clubs.

Lee ran the Brighton Marathon 2013 to raise money for a charity that helped his daughter after she was born three months premature in 2011.

He raised around £500 for Bliss, a charity which supports premature babies and their families.

Lee’s daughter, Grace, weighed 1lb10oz at birth.

To contribute to Lee’s fundraising for St Catherine’s Hospice, visit