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Last Updated: Friday, 28 April 2006, 22:15 GMT 23:15 UK
MS footballer finishes marathon
Danny Wallace reaching the finishing line
After finishing, Wallace said the first four miles were the worst
Former England footballer Danny Wallace - who suffers from multiple sclerosis - has completed the 26.2 mile London Marathon after five-and-a-half days.

The ex-Manchester United and Southampton star said it was like "winning the FA Cup all over again" after crossing the finishing line.

The 42-year-old's career ended when he was diagnosed with the disabling neurological condition nine years ago.

He was presented with his finisher's medal by former boxer Michael Watson.

Watson, who was in a coma for 40 days after a fight with Chris Eubank in 1991, completed the marathon in seven days in 2003.

He was the inspiration for Wallace to take on the challenge.

'Sore knees'

Speaking after crossing the finishing line on The Mall, Wallace - who hopes to raise funds for the Danny Wallace Foundation, a charity founded to aid research on multiple sclerosis and help sufferers - said: "It's like winning an FA Cup final all over again, walking up those stairs and picking up that medal.

"Now I can say I've done the 26 miles, I've beaten the London Marathon."

He said the first four miles of the course were the worst.

I feared he might not finish because of the condition, you don't know how it's going to take you from one day to the next
Jenny Wallace

"It was hard there, there are so many hills and uneven roads, but after that it was quite easy.

"My knees are sore though, and I need to rest now, and work out the other things I want to do for this foundation," he said.

His wife, Jenny, said she was "very proud".

Danny Wallace
Wallace's Man Utd career was blighted by injury

"I feared he might not finish because of the condition, you don't know how it's going to take you from one day to the next."

Michael Watson said: "I knew he would finish. He'd completed the marathon before he'd even started - it's all in the mind.

"He has such great determination and self-belief and has not received the credit he should have received for being such a devastatingly good athlete."

But Wallace is not the last person to finish the marathon - Lloyd Scott is walking the route dressed as St George, with a full suit of armour and towing an 8ft dragon.

I heard them say they couldn't find a pulse - that's enough to wake anyone up
Andrew Castle

He is expecting to take eight days to reach the finish line.

Earlier on Friday former British tennis No 1 and GMTV presenter Andrew Castle also completed the marathon after collapsing at the 25-mile point during Sunday's race

After crossing the line, he accepted a specially made medal that read: "Better late than never".

Castle said he could not remember much about passing out on the day.

"I just hit the wall. I was going in and out of consciousness. I heard them say they couldn't find a pulse - that's enough to wake anyone up," he said.




SEE ALSO:
Woman on oxygen finishes marathon
27 Apr 06 |  Cambridgeshire
Footballers support former icon
17 May 04 |  Hampshire/Dorset
Wallace battles with MS
30 Apr 04 |  Football Focus
Marathon man's Ness triumph
09 Oct 03 |  Scotland


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