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Why I’m running the London Marathon in memory of Darrell Freeland

Will Hardy is raising money for Heart Research UK

Why I’m running the London Marathon in memory of Darrell Freeland

Will Hardy, son of Football in Berkshire’s own Sunday League correspondent Tony, is running the London Marathon in 2020 in memory of our mate, Darrell ‘Dudley’ Freeland.

Darrell, as most of you will know setup this site and was a huge presence on the Berkshire non league football scene. Will is running in aid of Heart Research UK and we’d love it if you were able to donate a few pounds to the cause.

Here’s Will’s story, and why he’s running in Duds memory:

I’d known Darrell since I was 12. Wherever we were, at the game, or just out and about, Duds would always look out for us kids and take us under his wing, making sure that we were safe.

Not only did I watch football with Dudley, we formed one of Bracknell’s most sensational strike partnerships in a charity football match. Duds scored a goal but in his exuberance turned around to celebrate and rolling his ankle, causing him to be substituted and sent off to hospital, resulting in home being on crutches and tragically cutting short what could have been the ultimate little and large combination.

Duds became a very close friend of the family and we continued to socialise together. Trips included going up to Leeds to watch the rugby, spending Christmas together, going on pub crawls together, helping to run beer festivals at the football club, going to karaoke nights and getting to know him more and more on a personal level. Sadly, Dudley lost his battle after a a third round of major heart surgery, aged 43, in April 2019.

If you would like to sponsor Will’s effort, then please head on over to virginmoneygiving.com/WillHardy1

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Tom Canning

Tom is the co-editor of Football in Berkshire. He has played at the lowest possible level of football. In real life Tom works for Reach PLC. Former manager of Binfield Ladies in the Thames Valley Women's League.

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