DAN STOCCHERO tuned up for the Halifax, Huddersfield Union squad’s pre-season warm-up at Fixby tomorrow in the toughest manner possible - by running the London Marathon.
He completed the 26.2 miles in a creditable 4hrs 20min to raise money for the Children with Leukaemia charity.
“The sponsorship kindly given should provide more than £3,500, maybe £4,000,” said Fixby member Dan, 35, one of the players called up by team manager Chris Mear for tomorrow’s session ahead of the coming Yorkshire Inter-Union League campaign.
Dan’s first attempt at the gruelling run came about when a pal said he was running in both the New York and London events.
“I said I’d do the London run too so he got me a place. I told him I’d beat him and I did,” said Dan, a former Town junior footballer.
“I was determined to get fit in 2008 after having a knee rebuilt a couple of years ago and I think I’ve proved that to myself.
“George Mulhall was coaching the juniors when I was at Town and he always said I was a better runner than a footballer.
“He’s a member at Fixby and is still saying it!”
Dan added: “I’ve never experienced pain like I had around the 20-mile mark.
“The crowds were fantastic and it was a great feeing to get through the pain barrier.
“I got a big gold medal, a bit like a ‘Jim'll Fix it’ badge, which I’ve hardly taken off.”
Dan, a four handicap player who has made a few appearances for the Union team, will strive to lower his handicap this season.
Mear has changed the format for tomorrow’s pre-season sharpener (2.00) to strokeplay from the usual matchplay test between probables and possibles as it will be useful practice on a course where the Inter-Union team championship, a strokeplay event, will be played at this year.
He has been forced into changes as Fixby’s Neil Williams has been sidelined by a knee injury sustained in playing five-a-side football, Bradley Hall’s Andy Appleyard has some university project work on and Meltham’s Alex Battye is involved in a rugby final.
Fixby three-handicapper Aran Schnacke, rated by his club professional Paul Carman as a strong ball striker and good iron player, comes in along with West End’s Frank Greaves and Ryan Greenwood.