Friday, 25th July 2014

Athlete’s marathon will help others less fortunate.

A rugby player who was nearly paralysed playing for Bridgnorth is running the London Marathon to raise money for people suffering from spinal injuries.

Charlie Ralph was 25-years-old and playing fly half for Bridgnorth’s first team against Ludlow three years ago when a crunching tackle forced him to leave the field in agony.

Mr Ralph, who thought he was just suffering from muscle damage, broke the C6 vertebra in his neck and said he was lucky still be an able-bodied athlete. He said: “Other people are not so lucky and this charity supports people, getting them set up in their own homes.

“I have always enjoyed training and now I can’t play rugby anymore I’ve started training for the marathon.

“I am looking to raise awareness for my charity and also generate some more sponsorship and donations.” Mr Ralph needs to raise at least £1,800 to be sure of competing in the marathon on April 22.

He said: “I have been advised to retire completely from a sport that I love.

“Luckily I am still an able-bodied person, however some people are not so lucky and have to adapt to life without the use of their limbs through a result of a spinal injury.

“This is where the Spinal Injuries Association comes in and provides help and support. I am a naturally ‘sporty’ person and wanted something to train for, so raising money for a great charity seemed like a good idea.

“My place in the event has been confirmed, however, if I do not reach this specified amount of £1,800 there is a good chance that I will be refused entry and not be able to take part. I’m currently stuck on about £250 and getting people to part with their hard earned cash is proving difficult so raising some awareness is the key.

Anyone wishing to donate can visit www.justgiving.com/Charlie-Ralph-10 or text ‘YRKK75’ – followed by £5, £10 or £20 – to 70070. Mr Ralph can also be contacted on 01746 789593 or 07896 082181.

James Fisher