SOUTHEND United are throwing their weight behind life-long supporter Jim Lamas, who will be running the London Marathon for the first time this weekend.

The 40-year-old, from Hockley, is also a former first team manager at Southend Rugby Club.

And he is looking forward to finally taking part in the gruelling run round the capital.

“Back in 1999, when I was in the Royal Navy, I got offered the chance to do the London Marathon but because I couldn’t find anyone to train with I turned it down and I’ve regretted it ever since,” said Lamas.

“I was 40 last year so that was another reason for wanting to do it.

Lamas has been watching Blues since the early 1980s and has been treated by the club’s physiotherapist Ben Clarkson during his training regime.

He also met with the Shrimpers squad and manager Phil Brown in the build up to Sunday’s big race and Brown has handed him a unique sponsorship deal.

“I’ve told Jim that I’ll sponsor him £10 for every minute he beats my time by or £5 for every minute he doesn’t beat it by,” said Brown.

“But I won’t tell him my time until after he finishes.”

Lamas is running the marathon for the Wooden Spoon charity and can be sponsored by visiting