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Benali's Big Run to conclude with gala dinner

By Julie Pink | February 5th, 2015 | Categories: Gala Dinner

Below article featured in the Daliy Echo 

Saints legend Francis Benali will host a gala dinner at St Mary's this March, in what will be the final fundraising event for Benali's Big Run.

The 46-year-old last year completed his incredible mission to race 1,000 miles to all 20 Premier League grounds in the space of just three weeks.

He has already raised more than £200,000 for Cancer Research UK as a result of the challenge, and is hoping to add to that total at the celebratory dinner, on Saturday, March 14.

“This is the last event we will have for Benali's Big Run, so it's the final fundraising push,” said Benali.

“With Gift Aid, the total raised is through the £200,000 barrier, and if we can have a great turnout then there's every possibility we could get nearer to a quarter-of-a-million in donations, which would be absolutely amazing.”

Benali, who made nearly 400 appearances during his Saints career, caught the imagination of the city as he ran the length and breadth of the country.

“The challenge was incredibly tough, but an amazing experience at the same time,” he said.

“To be able to hand a cheque over to Cancer Research for this sort of sum is amazing really.

“I'm extremely grateful to all the people who enabled me to complete the run, and for the mind-blowing donations people have made - be they large or small.”

The gala dinner will take place at St Mary's Stadium, and will feature a raffle and small auction - which will include some of the football shirts donated by clubs during the run.

The cost is £65 per person, or £600 for a table of ten.

More details, including how to book, are available by visiting If you are unable to attend, but wish to donate, visit

Francis Benali Southampton

Tags: Benali, Benali's Big Run, Cancer Research UK

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