Exiled Shrewsbury supporter ready for Bupa Great Manchester Run
David Howell, an exiled Shrewsbury Town fan now living in Manchester, has stepped forward to represent the club at this year's Bupa Great Manchester Run later this month.
Former Bolton Wanderers star Fabrice Muamba is the official starter for this year’s event and has urged football fans to join him in their club colours on the starting line on May 26.
Muamba is hoping to recruit a runner to represent each of the 92 Football League and Premier League clubs in a show of unity and to celebrate his return to health, with David wearing his Shrewsbury Town colours for the race.
Muamba almost died after he collapsed with sudden cardiac arrest while playing for Bolton in an FA Cup tie against Tottenham Hotspur last year but has astounded medics with his recovery.
David, 28, originally from Shrewsbury, grew up in North Shropshire near Hodnet and has been living in Manchester for the last four years.
"I've been a Town fan since I was eight," said David. "My favourite Town experience was the play-off final victory over Aldershot in 2004 at the Brittania Stadium - I loved Scott Howie's penalty saves!
"I've been running since I was at school in Newport, however this is only the second time I've done the Great Manchester run. I last did it in 2011 and ran 46.18, which I hope to beat this time."
Muamba, 25, said: “I am calling on all football fans to put their rivalry and differences aside and unite to raise money for great causes across the UK.
"It’s amazing what can be achieved when we do this.
“I am delighted to be involved in this fantastic event and I urge people across the UK to sign up and get involved too.
"You can raise money for a great cause, or you can do it just to keep fit - whatever your motivation, I look forward to waving you off at the starting line on May 26.”
Muamba was forced to retire from football but his popularity in the professional game remains very strong.
In recognition of this, a team of 25 runners – one for each year of his life - will also take part in the Bupa Great Manchester Run.
The team will run for the Arrhythmia Alliance ‘Hearts and Goals’ campaign, which helps place lifesaving AEDs (automated external defibrillators) in communities.
To support runners taking part in the event for the Arrhythmia Alliance ‘Hearts and Goals’ Campaign, donations can be made by text using JustTextGiving by Vodafone.
To donate £3 text FABS25 £3 to 70070 to help ensure all communities have public-access defibrillators and more people in the UK are AED and CPR trained.
The text is free to send and every penny donated goes to charity. Gift Aid can easily be added.
Further details and entry is available at www.greatrun.org/Manchester with entries being accepted on a first come, first served basis until the limit of 40,000 is achieved.
Football fans who want to ‘Run for Muamba’ should email details to RunForMuamba@greatrun.org.