Congratulations to Clapton CFC player Liam Smyth, who managed to complete the London Marathon despite it being ‘one of the hardest things he’d ever done’,
Left-back Liam finished the race in 4 hours, 28 minutes and 6 seconds to be precise, having previously smashed his £1,000 fundraising target.
Liam was running for Lola’s Homeless, who provide support for people sleeping rough in freezing temperatures in Newham, and Clapton CFC’s own community work.
Liam wrote: “Yesterday was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. So many times I wanted to quit, especially at mile 22 when I got cramp in both calves, both hamstrings and both buttocks, a terrible sight for the spectators.
“I definitely would have quit if it wasn’t for all of your support and generous donations.
“It meant so much knowing that you wanted me to get across the finish line and knowing that the money raised (over £1,300) would help so many people.
“For that reason, you guys are incredible. Thank you SOOOOOO much x
You’ll probably spot tomorrow just behind Mo Farah for most of the race, or else you can track me on the marathon app (8164)
— Liam Smyth (@SmythyTg1) April 27, 2019
Before the run Liam, whose day job is a history teacher, told us: “At my school we have done a lot of work raising money for homeless charities, donating to food banks and raising awareness among students as to why people become homeless and how they are often trapped in a cycle of poverty that is tough to escape from.
“Lots of parents have spoken to me about their experiences of austerity and this has made me think about how I should do more to help.
“I’ve seen parents not being able to afford a coat for their child this winter, after being laid off work or moving from hostel to hostel with their kids.
“It is heartbreaking and made me realise the extent to which our society is failing a large group of people currently due to cuts
“Issues like homelessness are easy for people to ignore and we need to be doing something to improve the lives of those less fortunate.”
He was also raising money for Clapton CFC’s community work, and added: “Clapton CFC is an inclusive community that fights for justice and equality.
“Ever since joining Clapton CFC I have seen the impact that a strong community can have. The growth and success of the football club is second to the growth and success of it as a community. The perfect type of football club to get behind!”
Asked why he signed for the club, Liam said: “I went to watch Clapton FC a couple of years ago with Phil Blakesley, ‘away’ to Hackney Wick who were sharing the Clapton home ground, on Non-League Day.
“It was a fantastic atmosphere and I learnt a lot about the club then. Jim Brown (a founding member of CCFC) and colleague of Dan Anfossy asked if I wanted to go down to the open trials in the summer and the rest is history.
“I probably would not have played Saturday football if it wasn’t for Clapton and what they represent, this was the main reason I decided to go to the trials after being out of Saturday football for eight years.”
This was Liam’s first marathon and he admitted: “I really hate running.”
Liam’s fundraising page can be found at: https://chuffed.org/project/running-for-the-homeless-and-clapton-community-fc