Injured player rises to marathon challenge
A Yorkshire schoolteacher who doctors feared would never walk again after he suffered a spinal injury playing Rugby League is about to make a spectacular recovery – by running the London Marathon on Sunday.
Carl Dacres, 40, has set himself a target of finishing the gruelling 26-mile course though the streets of the capital in less than seven hours and is urging companies and Rugby League fans to show their support by sponsoring his amazing run.
Carl was left paralysed from the neck down after being injured in a freak tackle in March 2009 and his family were told to prepare themselves for the worst.
However through a heady blend of hard work, sheer bloody-mindedness and the support of friends, family and the RFL Benevolent Fund, a charity which assists players who suffer life-changing injuries playing Rugby League, Carl went on to defy all expectations.
In August 2009 Carl’s resolve saw him recover sufficiently to walk down the aisle with his wife Leanne at their wedding in Jersey and since then he has grown in strength and learned to cope with an injury that will never fully heal.
“I have scarring on my spinal cord which means the signals from my brain don’t function fully and never will,” said Carl, who teaches at Boston Spa School in West Yorkshire.
“I can’t run like I once could and sometimes reduced to a quick shuffle but it’s not going to stop me running the marathon this weekend.
“I haven’t been able to do a lot of training but I’m hopeful that I can beat my target of seven hours. It’s going to be a tough challenge and it’s going to hurt but this is my way of saying a big ‘Thank You!’ to the RFL Benevolent Fund and all the people who helped me after my accident.”
Bookmakers William Hill have pledged to sponsor Carl to the tune of £750 if he finishes the race within seven hours and other companies and individual are being urged to show their support.
“I know that everyone has a lot of demands on their goodwill and that money is tight but I’m doing this for a cause which really does change people’s lives. The RFL Benevolent Fund certainly changed mine and it would be fantastic if I could raise £5,000 on Sunday,” added Carl.
For more information on Carl’s injury, the RFL Benevolent Fund and details of how to sponsor him, please log on to http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/carldacres