Leiston duo looking forward to Virgin London Marathon, despite gruelling Ryman League season
- Credit: Andy Abbott
It’s been a marathon season for most local footballers, the inclement weather earlier this year resulting in a backlog of fixtures that have had to be juggled with their other commitments away from the game.
Leiston were hit hard, and have played 13 games in the last seven weeks, but that’s not stopping defensive duo Joe Jefford and Adam Tann taking on one of the biggest marathons of all.
The Blues players will be running in tomorrow’s London Marathon and while Jefford and Tann are set to miss today’s game at home to East Thurrock, they will be back for the game against Carshalton Athletic, at Victory Road, on Tuesday.
Both are running for causes close to their hearts, with Jefford fundraising for ‘Children with Cancer UK’ and Tann, ‘Orchid Male Cancer Awareness, which was co-founded by Tann’s oncologist, professor Tim Oliver.
Jefford’s niece, Neve, who is one-and-a-half, is currently undergoing treatment for Wilms’ Tumour, which is cancer of the kidneys that typically occurs in children.
Tann, meanwhile, was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2006, whilst playing for Leyton Orient, but was back playing during the latter stages of the 2006-07 season, following a successful operation.
Jefford, who signed a two-year contract extension with Steve Ball’s team recently, said: “It’s going to be a busy few days, but it should be a good occasion though and I have made it through this far unscathed.
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“It’s been a long time coming, we have been training for six months and we ran 23 miles a couple of weeks ago.
“I am full of nervous energy now, I just want to get going.”
The big defender, who was the Blues’ ‘Supporters’ Player of the Year’ in 2012, has been an integral figure for the Blues again this season, despite being aware of his forthcoming commitment for most of the season.
“It’s been a case of getting through games without any pulls or knocks,” added Jefford, who also runs his own plumbing and heating business.
“It’s been a hectic schedule, playing Saturday, Tuesday, Saturday, and Sunday, since the clocks changed, has been the only time we have really had time to go for a long run.
“We have not done much training together as Adam is Cambridge-based and I am based near Oulton Broad, but I am sure there will be some friendly competition between us.
“The most important thing is to complete the course.”
As for Tann, this will not be the first major fundraiser he has been involved in.
“Myself and my friend Daniel Huggins took part in a charity bicycle ride which involved us riding to every Premier League ground in a week, which was almost 900 miles and we raised in the region of £5,000,” he said.
“It was called the Two-Wheel Testicle Tour and this is like the second challenge.”
The defender added: “I think myself and Joe will be OK. He is a fit lad and there have been some conversations in the changing room. I think he may be a bit faster than me, having done similar things before, but my friend and I will just concentrate on getting round.”
On the pitch, Conor Hubble and Jack Simmons will miss out having returned to Colchester United.
“Conor and Jack have been fantastic on and off the pitch and hopefully this will give them a great platform for their careers,” said boss Ball.
“The loan arrangement has been great value for them and Leiston.”
To donate, visit: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/JoeJefford