Date: 30th September 2016 at 2:55pm
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Francis Benali is hitting the road again for another “impossible challenge” in aid of Cancer Research UK.

The former Southampton defender has already raised £265,000 for the charity with his first phenomenal feat – running from Newcastle to Southampton via ever Premier League club in just three weeks!

It meant running around 50 miles a day to complete the 1,000-mile trek – and now Franny is taking on an even bigger challenge.

Francis Benali

Fans’ favourite Benali, who made 369 appearances for Saints during a 16-year playing career between 1988 and 2004, is aiming to run and cycle to every Premier League and Championship club – in just two weeks!

It will mean running a marathon AND cycling at least 75 miles every day for a fortnight.

“People said I was mad to do the first challenge – and after just a few hours I realised they were right!” admitted Benali.

“It was far tougher than I ever imagined, not just physically, but mentally and emotionally. There were many times when I broke down and thought I could not complete it.

“But what kept me going was the reason for doing it. My pain and suffering were nothing compared to what cancer victims and their families go through.

“So now I am going to attempt something even more demanding and gruelling.

“I honestly don’t know if it will be possible, but that’s what makes it such a unique challenge.”

Benali will set off from AFC Bournemouth’s Vitality Stadium on Sunday October 2 and will head towards South Wales and then the North-West and North-East before trekking back to the south coast via the Midlands, East Anglia and London.

The 47-year-old aims to finish the two-week endurance feat at St Mary’s Stadium Southampton on October 16 in time for Saints’ home game against Burnley at 4:00pm.

Benali added, “The reception last time was incredible and hopefully people will be just as generous this time around. It really is a wonderful cause.

“I am hoping to top the previous figure with the money raised funding specific Cancer Research UK Immunotherapy Research across the country.”

To donate and find out more information about Benali’s Big Race, visit

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