BY TOBY PORTER
A lifelong Millwall fan has already smashed his fundraising target for a rare diseases charity.
Steve Rendell will tackle the London Landmarks Half Marathon this month in a bid to raise money for a rare diseases charity after being inspired by a fellow young supporter of his beloved football club.
Harvey Brown, aged 10, has Morquio syndrome, which stunts skeletal growth and impairs vision and hearing.
After Steve saw Harvey lead out Millwall at Wembley in the 2016 play-off final, he vowed to help Harvey and the MPS Society, which helps those affected by Morquio and other life-limiting diseases.
Harvey is just one of 78 people in the UK with the rare disease, which means he will not grow above 3ft-tall and has a shortened life span.
Steve initially set a fundraising target for £2,000, but has already smashed this, with more than £5,000 raised to date.
He will join 13,000 other runners to tackle the 13.1-mile course on March 24, weaving through the capital’s most famous landmarks including Big Ben, St Paul’s Cathedral, the Shard, the Tower of London and the London Eye, as well as some of the more quirky and hidden ones.
Steve said: “Harvey is always so chirpy and a really lovely lad. After seeing Harvey lead out Millwall that day and just seeing how brave he is has inspired me to tackle the London Landmarks Half Marathon.
“By taking on what is a big challenge for me, I want to raise awareness around this rare disease and also to help people like Harvey by raising money for the MPS Society to fund research and medical support.”
Dean Brown, Harvey’s dad, said: “What Steve is doing means a lot to us as a family. Harvey has such a rare disorder and the MPS Society is such a small charity that we need support like this to help Harvey and others like him.
We have had huge support from Millwall Football Club and we must thank them hugely for helping Harvey, and without them Steve wouldn’t have heard about Harvey. We can’t wait to go to central London to watch the half marathon and see Steve cross the finish line.”
Steve has already raised £5,117 through his JustGiving page, but wants to try and raise even more ahead of the half marathon on Sunday.
To donate to visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Steve-Rendell1 .
On the day of the half marathon Harvey will be made a VIP for the day and will be able to cheer Steve on from the start and finish lines. The inaugural edition of the London Landmarks Half Marathon in March 2018 was hailed a huge success, raising £4.98m for more than 100 charities.
The 2019 edition will see 3,000 extra runners take part and has a target of raising £6m for charity. There are over 180 cheer stations as well as entertainment, music and activities.