Southampton legend Franny Benali has smashed through his £1,000,000 fundraising target for Cancer Research UK, days after completing his third challenge for the charity.
The 50-year-old is currently recovering from his IronFran challenge, which saw him complete five Iron Man triathlons and receive a hero’s welcome in Guidhall Square from more than 1,000 people.
And after reaching a goal set in 2014, when he embarked on Benali’s Big Run, an emotional Benali reflected on an incredible achievement.
He said: “I am absolutely thrilled to have smashed my £1m goal for this amazing charity – it was the best news to wake up to this morning.
“As a family we are all quite emotional to have not only made it, but to have pushed beyond the target I set myself in 2014 and we will definitely be celebrating today.
“I cannot thank everyone enough for the support they have shown me, for lining the streets, for making the banners, for popping up in the most obscure places to give me a wave and a cheer and for welcoming me home in such an incredible way on Sunday night. It was a night I will never forget for as long as I live.
“People have been so unbelievably generous and I would like to send my heartfelt thanks to each and every person who has donated. I know the money we have raised will make a huge difference and will ultimately change lives.
“I would also like to thank my support team for ensuring I got through the challenge, and for stepping up and completing it for me on the days I was made to withdraw.
“Last but not least I would like to say thank you to my wife Karen and our children Luke and Kenzie. They are my rock and without their support, this simply wouldn’t have happened.”