POMPEY match-day presenter ’Touchline’ Tony Male is aiming big to mark his 25th Great South Run.
The dedicated fundraiser is hoping to raise more than £25,000 for a charity close to his heart – the Oakley Waterman Foundation.
The charity was set up by parents Dave Waterman, a former Pompey player, and his wife Lorraine, whose son Oakley died aged six from a rare form of cancer in 2005.
The foundation gives respite holidays to children with life-threatening illnesses and their families.
Touchline Tony, who is a well-known face at Pompey, is running the 10 miles on Sunday accompanied by 24 other runners, including Dave, and former Pompey players Lee Bradbury and David Birmingham. They will be cheered on by Blues great Andy Awford and ex-defender Guy Butters. Tony said: ‘Dave is a very good friend of mine and I knew Oakley.
‘It is my 25th consecutive Great South Run so it made sense to make it a bit more special. To celebrate we are hoping to raise £25,000.
‘There’ll be 25 of us running and there’s a bit of a crowd supporting us and they will be doing things on the way round to surprise us.’
The group will be running the Southsea track together and are aiming to finish within 1hr 40min.
Tony said: ‘We will be easy to spot as we’ll be wearing specially-made Pompey kit. We’d encourage any Portsmouth fans to come along in their kit and cheer us on when they see us.’
Tony got into running when he suffered a knee injury aged 32 and he had to give up playing football. He has since raised money for more than 20 charities by taking part in the race and other long-distance events.
He said: ‘The run is fantastic, the crowds keep you going. You get to see the Spinnaker Tower, go past the Warrior and the Victory. It’s the best 10-mile race in the world.’
To donate go to justgiving.com/oakleywatermancaravanfdn