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Davis & Clarets Combine To Support Benali Charity Challenge

3 October 2016

Francis Benali is hitting the road again for another “impossible challenge” in aid of Cancer Research UK.

And the former Southampton FC defender will visit Turf Moor later this week as part of his aim to run and cycle to every Premier League and Championship club – in just two weeks!

It will mean running a marathon AND cycling at least 75 miles every day for a fortnight.

The 47-year-old aims to finish the two-week endurance feat at St Mary’s Stadium, Southampton on October 16, in time for Saints’ home game against Burnley at 4pm.

And during his brief visit to Turf Moor, at 11.30am on Friday, October 7, Clarets legend and former Saints team mate Steve Davis (pictured above) will be on hand to offer a warm Lancashire welcome.

Davis ran with Benali three times on his last epic journey, when he raised £265,000 for the charity by running from Newcastle to Southampton, via ever Premier League club in just three weeks!

Davis said: “It is an incredible challenge and for a very worthy cause so I hope fans will donate generously.

“Cancer is a disease which touches everyone and I wish Franny well on what will be an unbelievably difficult and painful feat.

“I know Burnley Football Club is proud to support him.”

Benali said: “People said I was mad to do the first challenge – and after just a few hours I realised they were right!

“It was far tougher than I ever imagined, not just physically but mentally and emotionally. There were many times when I broke down and thought I could not complete it.

“But what kept me going was the reason for doing it. My pain and suffering were nothing compared to what cancer victims and their families go through.

“So now I am going to attempt something even more demanding and gruelling. I honestly don’t know if it will be possible but that’s what makes it such a unique challenge.”

Benali in his playing days, celebrating with Matt Le Tissier

Benali set off from Bournemouth’s Vitality Stadium on Sunday, October 2, heading towards South Wales and then the North-West and North-East before trekking back to the south coast via the Midlands, East Anglia and London, ending at St Mary’s when the Clarets arrive for the televised clash.

Benali added: “The reception last time was incredible and hopefully people will be just as generous this time around. It really is a wonderful cause.”

To donate, simply text Fran to 70200 to give £5, or go to

For further information about Cancer Research UK's work or to find out how to support the charity, please call 0300 123 1022 or visit

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