PICTURES: Luke's pride at starting St Helens 10K as former Haydock clubmates and Star squad swell appeal fund (From St Helens Star)
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PICTURES: Luke's pride at starting St Helens 10K as former Haydock clubmates and Star squad swell appeal fund
10:58am Friday 15th March 2013 in News
LUKE Bryan was filled with “pride” after starting the St Helens 10K – and hundreds of runners headed out on the course with the motivation of helping the paralysed rugby player’s life.
The 32-year-old, who suffered the life-changing neck injury while playing for Haydock under 18s in 1996, performed the countdown at the starting line on Sunday.
Half the donations amassed from the run from the Steve Prescott Foundation Appeal will help build Luke a specially adapted house.
After seeing the runners on their way, Luke said: “It was a proud moment starting the race off. I was so excited and it’s a privilege to be here.”
Among the runners were a group of former amateur rugby league players from Haydock, who have given their backing to the Luke Forward appeal.
Eric Smith, Haydock chairman, said: “There were 22 lads running, including me and two of their wives.
“We all did ok and are looking to raise between £2,000 and £3,000. A lot of the lads are in their 30s and I’m 58. Dave Owen, who ran with us, had played alongside Luke, so it was a cause very close to our hearts.
“It was a cracking day and really nice to see everybody again. But it was all worth the effort in the end for Luke.
“He gave us the incentive to push on right to the end. I have known Luke for a long time and if there’s one thing you learn from him, it’s that if you feel down and feel like packing it in, you can’t because he’s there to pick you up.
“He will never let you look down because he’s such a tremendous character.”
A team from the St Helens Star also completed the course in support of Luke Forward and is set to add £1,000 to the appeal fund.