Franny Benali set to raise £1m for charity by attempting Ironman triathlon

Franny Benali set to raise £1m for charity by attempting Ironman triathlon

- Franny Benali is set to do the unthinkable by running an iron man triathlon race to raise money for charity

- The 50-year-old will swim, ride bicycle, and run a marathon for seven days to raise £1million

- Footballers including Alan Shearer, Robbie Fowler, Michael Owen and others are all in support of Benali

Franny Benali, former Southampton defender, has embarked upon a dangerous Iron Man attempt to raise £1million for Cancer Research in the United Kingdom.

The 50-year-old is incredibly attempting seven Ironman triathlons in seven days where he will swim, ride a bicycle and run a marathon.

He will putting his body through 27km of swimming, 300km running and 1,260km cycling over seven days.

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“I guess I might be crazy,” Benali told

“There’s been once or twice during training that I’ve asked myself that question.

“The plan is to be in the water for 6 o’clock each day. The estimate, going on my training, is that it will take 16-18 hours, so I should be finishing between 10 o’clock and midnight. Then there’s recovery [exercises]. That’s going to leave very little time for sleep, and I love my sleep! It’s probably going to be a 5 o’clock wake-up call.”

“The target is to raise £1 million for Cancer Research UK, and to hopefully smash through it and raise as much as we can,” said Benali.

“I guess there’s an element in my mind that if I was to give up, the donations could be affected.

“It’s such a tremendous cause. It will help improve treatments for cancer and recovery from it. It will help so many people.

“And the support I’ve received has been absolutely mind-blowing. If I was to quit, it would feel as though I was letting people down.”

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Football legends including Robbie Fowler, Matt Le Tissier, Michael Owen, Alan Shearer, and a couple of pundits are throwing their weight behind IronFran.

“The support I’ve received from the football world has been sensational,” Benali said.

“It’s really helped drum up interest for the cause.”

Benali's football career has helped him prepare for the ugliest week of his life on multiple levels.

“I've had a stubbornness, a drive to never give in since my football days," said Benali.

"I’ve battled through injuries. I once broke my arm in a game against Leicester away and played on for the remaining 30 minutes. I’ve always been able to block out pain.

“Maybe I was a little bit ahead of my time. There were a lot of cultures back in the day… I’ve never been drunk in my life, I’ve never smoked, I’ve always tried to lead a healthy lifestyle so I could train well. I was always conscious about how I prepared for games.

“And that’s continued in this challenge. I enjoy my takeaways, treats but there hasn’t had to be too much of a lifestyle change.”

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Meanwhile, had earlier reported that Marcelo Bielsa told his team Leeds United to allow Aston Villa walk the ball into the net as his side scored a controversial opener in a Championship game that ended in a 1-1 draw at Elland Road.

Leeds who were on course for a playoff spot scored through Mateusz Klich while Villa's Jonathan Kodjia was down injured. ( -> We have updated to serve you better.

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