BBC News

Ex-Hanley Town footballer's mission to help club survive

Published
image copyrightSean Hancock
image captionSean Hancock said: "I'd be lying if I said I liked running"

A former footballer is running 10k a day for more than 100 days to raise money for a semi-professional team.

Sean Hancock was midfielder and also served as reserve team manager for Hanley Town FC, which plays in the North West Counties League.

Like many clubs, it is facing financial difficulties due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Mr Hancock, who admits he is not a keen runner, said he has been amazed by the support for the club.

Having started on 4 May, he will run 10k daily until 16 August, when the new season will start.

Mr Hancock, who has been involved with the club for more than a decade, said his running began when he was nominated for a 5k fundraising challenge on Facebook.

"I started running and thought it might be a good idea to raise some money but I think I jumped in at deep end."

Initially he set a target of £1,000 to support the reserve team, but donations have surpassed £1,600.

image copyrightHanley Town FC
image captionMr Hancock said, like many sports clubs, Hanley Town FC is struggling in the wake of the pandemic

"It is not really about me, people are pledging money because it is a proper community club," he said.

"The support has been fantastic from everyone really, especially from my fiancée Jenna who has to deal with me moaning every day."

Ron McIlreavy, chairman of Hanley Town, said the pandemic was hitting smaller football clubs "very, very hard".

"Like all clubs, we have no income, we rely on our supporters.

"We are obviously trying to find sponsors for new season, but all business are tightening the reins.

"What Sean is doing is incredible, he is Hanley Town through and through, what he is doing epitomises Sean as a person."

Follow BBC West Midlands on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Send your story ideas to: newsonline.westmidlands@bbc.co.uk

Related Topics

  • Running
  • Hanley