A SOUTHEND United superfan’s dream came true when he was joined for a leg of his virtual London Marathon by a Blues legend.

Kieron Stubbings ventured through the pouring rain to complete his first ever marathon and raise £5,000 for AGSD-UK.

He began the 26.2 mile journey alongside former Shrimpers player and manager Steve Tilson and also visited his nan’s grave to pay his respects during the event.

Kieron, 42, was surprised – and delighted – to be joined by the Blues legend as he pounded the south Essex pavements.

He said: “I couldn’t believe it when Steve turned up.

“My friend set it up for Steve to join me and I had no idea about it until he was standing there with me.

“It was unbelievable because I’m a massive Southend fan and he is a legend.

“He ran the first couple of miles with me and that gave me an extra boost.

“Being able to start my first ever marathon with Steve made my day.”


Touching - Kieron Stubbings visited his nan’s grave

Kieron doubled his £2,500 target as he raised funds for AGSD-UK, a charity close to his heart as his fiancée suffers with a rare condition called Pompe Disease.

He was pleased to complete the virtual marathon in five hours and 28 minutes.

Kieron added: “It was absolutely fantastic and doing it virtually, rather than in London, made it more personal.

“There weren’t millions of people cheering me on around London, but my friends and family were there supporting me.

“Cars were beeping to show their support and it was a memorable day.


“I lost my nan a few years ago and being able to go to her grave during the marathon was touching.

“It is a big achievement for me to run a marathon because I got out of breath whenever I just climbed the stairs a year ago.”

Meanwhile, James Duddridge raised more than £1,360 for Harp.

The Rochford and Southend East MP completed the 26.2 miles in six hours, 40 minutes and 11 seconds.


Completed the virtual marathon - James Duddridge

Having run for Havens Hospices last year, he has already set his sights on helping a third charity next year.

He said: “It was always going to be a tough ask to beat my 2019 time, but I’m pleased to have got it done and to have raised £1,363 for Southend’s homeless charity Harp so far.

“The legs will be given a well-deserved rest, but I absolutely plan on running the London Marathon for a third time next year for a third charity.”

Havens Hospices had 50 runners take part, with the majority running from Little Havens, in Thundersley, to Southend seafront and back.

Judy Grocott, voluntary income manager at Havens, said: “It costs £6,000 a day to provide our specialist palliative and supportive care and we can’t thank each runner enough for their determination and generosity by taking part and continuing to raise vital funds for our care.”