Potts proud after Marathon

His legs may be heavy but smiling Steve Potts is still floating on air after completing his first London Marathon last Sunday.

"It was a great experience and such a good day," said proud Pottsy, who looks set to raise a fantastic five-figure sum for Children with Leukaemia, after taking a highly-respectable 4hr 4min 7sec, to run the capital's 26 miles and 385-yards course. "Everyone was pulling in the same direction and there were so many people watching, too. There were even a few shouts of 'C'mon Pottsy!' and that really helped me to get through it.

"I knew that I had to try to enjoy the day rather than get daunted by it all and despite trying to pace myself from the start, I just got carried along by a wave of people. All my pre-race plans soon went out of the window," laughed the former Boleyn Ground defender, who had his own welcoming committee of 40 friends and family - including eldest son Daniel celebrating his 14th birthday - roaring him on at the 19-mile mark. "That was a very special moment for me but it started to get harder towards the end.

"While I'd told myself right from the off that I was not going to stop, one bloke even coasted past me bouncing a basketball! It's difficult enough just getting around, so fair play to those runners who dress up, too. Looking back, I really enjoyed the race in a peculiar sort of way but no matter how many times I do it, I don't think that I'll ever have that same feeling of elation as I did when I crossed the line to finish my first-ever marathon.

"Compared to the people who have dug deep into their pockets, I've done the easy bit," concluded the ever-modest 40-year-old, who stands ninth in the all-time West Ham United appearance charts, with 506 outings for the club. "And, remember, the really hard work is done by all the doctors, nurses and patients, who have to deal with this terrible illness. Every penny counts in the battle against leukaemia and I'm really, really grateful to everyone who has sponsored me and helped me to raise so much money for such a good cause."

The London Marathon may be over for another year but the race to find a cure for leukaemia is still well and truly on. It is not too late to make a donation, please visit: www.bmycharity.com/pottsy or post to: Steve Potts, London Marathon c/o Children with Leukaemia, 51 Great Ormond Street, London, WC1N 3JQ. Please make cheques payable to: 'Children with Leukaemia'.