FRANNY Benali collapsed in tears at the end of the toughest day of his 1,000-mile Big Run so far.
The Saints legend’s phenomenal feat of endurance has seen him cover more than 550 miles as he attempts to raise £1m for Cancer Research UK.
But after running 45 miles in nine hours on day 12, it all became too much when he reached the Herefordshire village of Whitney-on-Wye, a few miles from the Welsh border.
Daughter Kenzie said: “It was a really tough finish, dad literally broke down in tears. It wasn’t so much through pain, he said his knee wasn’t too bad today, but tiredeness.
“He’s absolutely exhausted and not really eating anything. He needs to be replacing all the calories he’s burning but he just can’t stomach anything.
“It’s the worst I’ve seen him so far, I’ve never seen him like this in my life. I’ve never seen him cry before. He didn’t just have tears in his eyes, he was really sobbing.
“It was quite a shock for my brother Luke and I, my mum held him and cried too. He’d run through the pain like he always does and then just crumbled.
“It’s been the hardest day so far. I think he’s been holding it in for a while. He’s running for longer than he’s sleeping, which is about six hours a night at the moment.“
Franny will cross into Wales tomorrow morning before arriving at Swansea City’s Liberty Stadium on Saturday.
After that he will not see a Premier League club for three days before arriving at QPR in west London on Wednesday. Franny is due to arrive at St Mary’s a week on Saturday.
You can follow Franny’s progress on Twitter @Benalisbigrun and at jellyfishlivewire.co.uk/benalis-big-run/map.
To donate, go to justgiving.com/BenalisBigRun or text BIGR55 followed by the amount you would like to donate (EG £1, £3, £5, £10) to 70070.
For example, if you want to donate £10 text BIGR55 £10 to 70070.