London Marathon: Oldest runner goes under the Hammers


Not many marathon men get to do their training with Premier League stars. But then 90-year-old Paul Freedman is not your average marathon entrant.

Once again the oldest participant this year, the West Ham fan spent a morning working out with the team in advance of his 24th London Marathon.

"It gets a bit harder every year. There's always new challenges," Mr Freedman admitted. He was "not running it. I walked it. I had doctor's orders."

It took Mr Freedman eight hours-plus to finish, adding £4,000 to a lifetime fundraising total which has exceeded £100,000.

For the past 18 years, the proceeds have benefited Saint Francis Hospice in Romford, where his late wife was cared for. The hospice had arranged the day with his beloved Hammers, which he said had been "brilliant.

"All the players shook hands with me. They had a press conference and we watched that. Then we went out into the ground and I ran with them. It was very enjoyable to meet the players face-to-face, especially when you've been a fan for as long as I have.

"I've been going to Upton Park for 50 years. I told [manager] Sam Allardyce that you can always tell a West Ham fan - their eyes are always glazed over. He laughed for about five minutes before hitting me!"

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