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Harris is a marathon man
9:13am Wednesday 30th January 2013 in Sport
FORMER Weymouth midfielder Andy Harris has hung up his boots for the next couple of months to concentrate on the London Marathon.
The popular 35-year-old has been turning out for Portland United this season but has had to call it a day for fear of getting injured ahead of his trip to the capital on April 21.
Blues’ boss Chris Wilson told Echo-sport: “Andy is going to have a break for a bit.
“He is running the London Marathon in April for the NSPCC and having raised a lot of money already, he cannot afford to risk injury.
“It is a blow to lose a player of his quality at this time but we wish him well ahead of the marathon and hopefully we will see him back with us before the end of the season.”
Wilson also went on to pay tribute to Harris’ recent influence at Grove Corner where he has been a key component in their ongoing bid to regain the Dorset Premier League title.
He went on to add: “Andy is a true professional and I would like to take this moment to thank him for his efforts and application since coming here.
“To have him around the club is just fantastic and he is someone the players can really look up to.
“The way he conducts himself both on and off the pitch sets a great example for the rest to follow and he certainly will be missed in the weeks ahead.”
Harris is currently training four times a week for the marathon and is thoroughly looking forward to the challenge.
He said: “I have done a half marathon before but never a full one. It’s something I have always wanted to do and so far things are going well.
“I am certainly not putting any pressure on myself though because this is totally different training to what I am used to.
“I am looking at nine-minute miles which would get me round in just under four hours, which I think would be respectable.
“I have also entered the Bath Half-Marathon and the Weymouth 10K just to get a feel for these types of events and the atmosphere before taking on the one in London in April.”
Harris is training with the Marlboro Restaurant’s Nathan Wood, who is running the marathon for the Weld-mar Hospicecare Trust.
Going on to comment on his own fundraising efforts, Harris added: “We held an event before Christmas where we ran a raffle and earned a bit, and so far I have raised around £1,250.
“I need to raise £2,000 so I am still looking for sponsorship and will be holding another event at the New Vic on Weymouth Seafront on March 30 (from 7pm).
It will be an informal family do with another raffle, and tickets will go on sale shortly for £5 each with all proceeds going to the NSPCC. “People will also be able to pay on the door and everyone will be welcome.”
Anyone interested in donating a raffle prize for the event can contact Harris on 07932043797, while donations can be made at virginmoneygiv ing.com/andy.harris n Wood is holding a Las Vegas Style Casino Night at Weymouth Angling Society Headquarters on Commercial Road on March 9 (7.30pm).
Entry is £15 each and includes canapés on arrival, a buffet dinner, live entertainment and a disco. Tickets can be purchased from the Marlboro Restaurant or by calling Nathan on 07588828229. Alternatively, send an email to nathanwood75@hot mail.co.uk
Donations can also be made at virginmoneygiving.com/nathanwood1