Friday 19 January 2018

Former Manchester United title winner is carried over the line in London Marathon

Former Manchester United defender Quinton Fortune
Former Manchester United defender Quinton Fortune

He won a Premier League title with Manchester United but the final few hundred metres of the London Marathon proved too much for Quinton Fortune.

There has already been one viral clip of a marathon runner sacrificing his own time to help an exhausted runner over the line from the weekend race but he was not the only one.

South African Fortune, who signed for Alex Ferguson's Manchester United in 1999, started to struggle a mile from the finish line and was spotted by Tommy Lewis, who himself is a footballer with non-league Nuneaton.

"I was just running down Embankment when I just saw this bloke struggling," Lewis told the Coventry Telegraph.

"I just kept saying to him 'come on, we are not that far away now' but he started to struggle even more, he almost fell over so I managed to put my arm around him. He was mumbling about 'sub four hours', which is the time most runners aim to complete the marathon in, and I kept saying 'we are almost there, we can do it'.

"He fell, and took me down with him, a marshal came over and helped me get him back up and the marshal and I literally carried him to the finishing line. I was hurting myself, I had injured my left foot, but I kept thinking how devastating it would be for him (Fortune) to have put so much effort into it and not to make it to the finishing line.

"I also kept thinking that, if I was in the same situation, I would like someone to help me too. It is all about getting to the finish line and I was determined to help him."

It was a beautiful gesture from Tommy but he only realised who he was carrying when they reached the finish line.

"In all fairness, he was incoherent, I have never seen anyone like it, but I could hear people chanting his name and I looked at his top and realised it was him and he was running for the Manchester United foundation," said the Leicester City FC fan.

"I didn’t really think about it until this morning, I would have helped anyone out who was struggling, it just happened to be him."

Fortune was involved in three title-winning teams with United but never played the 10 games required to claim a medal. However, he did receive one in 2003 by special dispensation after playing nine times for the club.

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