Sia Soliola backs BBC broadcaster George Riley 100-mile mission for Steve Prescott Foundation

Need a lift: George Riley has the support of Super League stars past and present, including Sia Soliola

Need a lift: George Riley has the support of Super League stars past and present, including Sia Soliola

First published in News by

BBC Sports presenter George Riley will be the going the extra mile to help continue the legacy of his close friend, the late Steve Prescott.

George has pledged to run more than 100 miles in a series of races throughout the year, having already taken part in this year’s St Helens 10k as well as the Bath half-marathon and London Marathon.

For George his daunting mission is his first challenge for the foundation since the inspirational figure’s passing last November, aged 39.

Steve set up the Foundation in 2007 after being diagnosed with a rare form of abdominal cancer and initially given months to live, and helped raise £500,000 for charities including The Christie in Manchester where he was treated and Try Assist, formerly the Rugby League Benevolent Fund.

Steve was also awarded the MBE in 2009 as recognition for his fundraising efforts.

George has already beaten his initial target of £5,000 ahead of his next challenges, the Leeds half marathon and the Bupa Great Manchester Run, which takes place on Sunday, May 18.

"It's not the first challenge I've undertaken for Steve but it's the biggest and the first I've not been able to talk to him about,” said the 35-year-old.

"He was an exceptional player, astonishing fundraiser, the perfect family man and a loyal friend. He'll be missed massively but never forgotten. My challenge is about his legacy and continuing to raise funds."

Saints star Sia Soliola showed his support for George’s, alongside some other rugby league personalities including ex-Saints Mickey Higham, who they gathered outside Old Trafford, home of Manchester United and venue of the Super League Grand Final.

Sia said: "It's wonderful that all the clubs can come together and do this for Steve because he was a great man.

"The Steve Prescott Foundation is obviously always linked with St Helens with him being a local boy, what he's done for the game and what he means to the town.

"This challenge epitomises what the Steve Prescott Foundation is all about."

Later in the year, George’s challenge sees him take on the Leeds 10k, Great North run and then the Yorkshire marathon in October.

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