Southampton legend Franny Benali has been honoured with the first of the club’s Forever Saint awards.
The former left-back, who has since gone on to raise more than £1m for Cancer Research UK through a series of incredible charity endurance challenges, received the accolade during half-time of the game against Manchester United.
The Forever Saint award, which will be presented at home matches throughout the 2021/22 season, celebrates incredible contributions made to the club and community by ex-players, club servants and community champions.
Benali, 52, made 389 appearances for Saints between 1988 and 2004, representing the club with incredible distinction, before then going on to complete a series of epic charity challenges, beginning with Benali’s Big Run in 2014, when he ran more than 1,000 miles between each Premier League ground.
Benali’s Big Race followed in 2016, when he covered 1,400 miles across a fortnight, running and cycling to all 44 top-flight and Championship stadiums, before his astonishing trilogy culminated with IronFran three years later, as he attempted seven IronMan triathlons in as many days.
In December 2019, he was appointed as an MBE in the New Year’s Honours list.