Nine years since he overcame cancer Chesterfield goalkeeping coach Matt Duke is to run a half marathon to say thank you to a charity who helped him through a dark time.
In January 2008 he was diagnosed with testicular cancer and although, following a successful operation, he was back in the Hull squad by March, that period of his life was a tough one.
“My doctor put me on to Cavendish Cancer Care, I was in a bad place in my mind, I was feeling like ‘why me’ and just wanted to get something off my chest,” he said.
“I went there and spoke to a lady and had a few sessions and they gave me some treatments that really benefitted me.”
Duke made a donation at the time but has always wanted to run the Sheffield Half Marathon on behalf of the non-profit organisation.
He’s raising funds through an online sponsorship page but also hopes to increase awareness of the charity, whose aim is to improve the quality of life for people living with cancer in South Yorkshire, North Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire.
“I feel like I could help them and even if someone is going through it now and goes to see them and gets some help, it’s a great non-proft charity,” he said.
“It’s all for people going through a bad time.”
Now 39, the former Bradford City, Northampton and Alfreton stopper admits he’s not quite as well prepared for the 9th April 13-mile race as he’d like.
But his main concern is crossing the finish line, not setting a personal best time.
“It’s something I’ve always wanted to do and felt it was the perfect opportunity to do it,” he said.
“I don’t think I’ll ever be in half marathon shape but it’s something I feel I can do, I’m not aiming for a time, as long as I get round the course.
“I’m generally fit, I’ve done a few runs and been on the route.
“I’ve done a bit of training, not as much as I’d like but I’m just doing it for the charity and to raise awareness.”
You can sponsor Duke’s efforts on his Just Giving page which can be found HERE
For more information on Cavendish Cancer Care, click HERE