Emotional day for Saints legend Franny as fans hail his charity running exploits on social media

Franny Benali falls into his son Luke's arms last night

Franny Benali falls into his son Luke's arms last night

First published in Football

SAINTS legend Franny Benali last night fell into his son Luke’s arms as he finished the latest stretch of his remarkable charity run.

Benali was in tears as he completed a 45-mile stretch in the Herefordshire village of Whitney-on-Wye.

The 45-year-old is more than halfway to completing a marathon run between all 20 Premier League clubs in a bid to raise £1m for Cancer Research UK.

Benali’s fans have been taking to social media to praise the ex-Dell star for his achievements so far.

On Facebook, a picture of Benali embracing Luke has attracted over 200 ‘likes’ and many comments.

Julie Prowting-Brown posted: “This sums up the Benalis’ extremely close loving family.”

Jane Carley said: “I put a ‘like’ only because I so admire you Franny, but it is not a like seeing you in such agony. Hope you are feeling a bit better tonight after such a well deserved rest with your lovely family. XXX”.

Patricia Haylor added: “Keep up your excellent work You are a superstar x”.

Alan Russell posted: “Keep going Franny - a truly great effort for a great cause. You are a legend!”.

Steve Phillips added: “Never Fear Failure Fran..... Teamwork will always Succeed and You and Your Team are Inspirational.

“Their Support & Your Commitment is Unbelievable.

“I like many other people will support you to get to £1 Million because Cancer has taken influential members of my family away from me and my children, far too soon and with your effort it's time to fight back...

We will spread the word & provide financial support for Benali's Big Run xx.”

Benali is due to finish his run at St Mary’s next Saturday, arriving at the stadium during the half time interval of Saints’ home game with Newcastle.

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.

Comments (11)

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8:47am Fri 5 Sep 14

couzzy33 says...

One of the nicest guys you could ever wish to meet. Southampton born and bred. Give him the freedom of the city.
One of the nicest guys you could ever wish to meet. Southampton born and bred. Give him the freedom of the city. couzzy33
  • Score: 33

8:57am Fri 5 Sep 14

lowe esteem says...

With this disease touching someone close to all of us, I am so proud of this family man, and such a proud member of the Saints family too.

We've all given to various worthy causes, been cajoled, shamed and 'bullied' on the doorstep at home or work. We've all sat in baths of beans, done 'London' or other difficult challenges. We must all appreciate what he's doing, surely?

Well, Frannie's not asking, he's just running marathon after marathon after marathon ( 38 in all!) for Cancer Research -so I will ask, plead ( without permission but on his behalf) with the Saints Family and the wider Football Community to support this Superhuman effort - what better man, effort or cause to back. Support the Saint.
(ECHO -you have my permission to reproduce this impassioned plea from a long-standing Saints fan for this most big -hearted Saint of all on all the Saints links on your site -I am sure the St Mary's masses will respond in droves -it's easy to give)
With this disease touching someone close to all of us, I am so proud of this family man, and such a proud member of the Saints family too. We've all given to various worthy causes, been cajoled, shamed and 'bullied' on the doorstep at home or work. We've all sat in baths of beans, done 'London' or other difficult challenges. We must all appreciate what he's doing, surely? Well, Frannie's not asking, he's just running marathon after marathon after marathon ( 38 in all!) for Cancer Research -so I will ask, plead ( without permission but on his behalf) with the Saints Family and the wider Football Community to support this Superhuman effort - what better man, effort or cause to back. Support the Saint. (ECHO -you have my permission to reproduce this impassioned plea from a long-standing Saints fan for this most big -hearted Saint of all on all the Saints links on your site -I am sure the St Mary's masses will respond in droves -it's easy to give) lowe esteem
  • Score: 20

9:05am Fri 5 Sep 14

saintforever says...

i have already donated - it's so easy - and if you are a tax payer you can "gift aid" you contribution which means an extra 25% is given to the charity.
if every saints fan only gave £1 think how much that would raise - come on support a true legend!!!!!!!
i have already donated - it's so easy - and if you are a tax payer you can "gift aid" you contribution which means an extra 25% is given to the charity. if every saints fan only gave £1 think how much that would raise - come on support a true legend!!!!!!! saintforever
  • Score: 14

9:05am Fri 5 Sep 14

Costa Baz says...

Franny has my utmost respect for doing this, as does everyone fighting to beat this dreadful disease.
Franny has my utmost respect for doing this, as does everyone fighting to beat this dreadful disease. Costa Baz
  • Score: 11

9:53am Fri 5 Sep 14

This is Southampton and we are the Saints says...

How about the echo and the media sky sports etc put a bit of pressure on all the footballers who earn stupid money to dig deep the £1000000 could be raised in a matter of minutes and would be a drop in the Ocean to the kind of money these people earn?
When you think What this man it's putting himself though for such a fantastic charity it would be a very small sacrifice and a heartfelt gesture?
Are thoughts are with you shrib!!!!
How about the echo and the media sky sports etc put a bit of pressure on all the footballers who earn stupid money to dig deep the £1000000 could be raised in a matter of minutes and would be a drop in the Ocean to the kind of money these people earn? When you think What this man it's putting himself though for such a fantastic charity it would be a very small sacrifice and a heartfelt gesture? Are thoughts are with you shrib!!!! This is Southampton and we are the Saints
  • Score: 30

10:19am Fri 5 Sep 14

dockboy says...

The title "legend" is thrown about all to easily these days. Not so is the case of Franny.
The title is well bestowed on him.
The title "legend" is thrown about all to easily these days. Not so is the case of Franny. The title is well bestowed on him. dockboy
  • Score: 26

10:20am Fri 5 Sep 14

This is Southampton and we are the Saints says...

I've sent this letter to sky sports editor
Feel free to copy and paste it and send it to sky together we can make a difference?
How about the media sky sports etc get behind Francis banali and put a bit of pressure on all the footballers who all earn all this crazy money to put there hands in there pocket and dig deep the £1000000 he is trying to raise could be raised in a matter of minutes and would be a drop in the Ocean to the kind of money these people earn?
When you think What this man it's putting himself though for such a fantastic charity it would be a very small sacrifice and a heartfelt gesture from the footballing Community
Would be a nice to see a nice bit of positive news for a really worth while course!
Yours sincerely
I've sent this letter to sky sports editor Feel free to copy and paste it and send it to sky together we can make a difference? How about the media sky sports etc get behind Francis banali and put a bit of pressure on all the footballers who all earn all this crazy money to put there hands in there pocket and dig deep the £1000000 he is trying to raise could be raised in a matter of minutes and would be a drop in the Ocean to the kind of money these people earn? When you think What this man it's putting himself though for such a fantastic charity it would be a very small sacrifice and a heartfelt gesture from the footballing Community Would be a nice to see a nice bit of positive news for a really worth while course! Yours sincerely This is Southampton and we are the Saints
  • Score: 22

2:38pm Fri 5 Sep 14

Mush On The Beach says...

The Big C, Cancer .... what a CHUNT of a word, we all have our own stories and upsets and hopefully some joys amongst it. We’ve all been affected by it and will continue to be so in our lives.
Maximum respect to Saint Franny for choosing to make a difference in such a heroic way, come on fella get past the pain barrier and arrive for your deserved hero’s welcome.

I had the pleasure of watching an ESPN documentary series called for 30 for 30. Thirty documentaries on a melting pot of mixed sporting stories. The one that resonates with Franny’s story was a Canadian athlete by the name of Terry Fox who became a cancer amputee ...... Google his story, or download the episode, truly inspirational of what we can all achieve with determination.

Wikipedia quote:
Although the spread of his cancer eventually forced him to end his quest after 143 days and 5,373 kilometres (3,339 mi), and ultimately cost him his life, his efforts resulted in a lasting, worldwide legacy.

POWERFULL positivity!
The Big C, Cancer .... what a CHUNT of a word, we all have our own stories and upsets and hopefully some joys amongst it. We’ve all been affected by it and will continue to be so in our lives. Maximum respect to Saint Franny for choosing to make a difference in such a heroic way, come on fella get past the pain barrier and arrive for your deserved hero’s welcome. I had the pleasure of watching an ESPN documentary series called for 30 for 30. Thirty documentaries on a melting pot of mixed sporting stories. The one that resonates with Franny’s story was a Canadian athlete by the name of Terry Fox who became a cancer amputee ...... Google his story, or download the episode, truly inspirational of what we can all achieve with determination. Wikipedia quote: Although the spread of his cancer eventually forced him to end his quest after 143 days and 5,373 kilometres (3,339 mi), and ultimately cost him his life, his efforts resulted in a lasting, worldwide legacy. POWERFULL positivity! Mush On The Beach
  • Score: 5

7:48pm Fri 5 Sep 14

Saint_rob says...

Wouldn't it be nice if all the prem players made a substantial
Donation, rather than just all us normal underpaid people.
Wouldn't it be nice if all the prem players made a substantial Donation, rather than just all us normal underpaid people. Saint_rob
  • Score: 3

6:14am Sat 6 Sep 14

J7junctionseven says...

Saint_rob wrote:
Wouldn't it be nice if all the prem players made a substantial
Donation, rather than just all us normal underpaid people.
Agree. Imagine how much could be donated if all the players from every PL squad put their hands in their very large pockets..
[quote][p][bold]Saint_rob[/bold] wrote: Wouldn't it be nice if all the prem players made a substantial Donation, rather than just all us normal underpaid people.[/p][/quote]Agree. Imagine how much could be donated if all the players from every PL squad put their hands in their very large pockets.. J7junctionseven
  • Score: 1

6:17am Sat 6 Sep 14

J7junctionseven says...

If every owner of each of the clubs also stumped up a considerable donation that would be nice.........say 20 times £10,000.......???
If every owner of each of the clubs also stumped up a considerable donation that would be nice.........say 20 times £10,000.......??? J7junctionseven
  • Score: 1
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