Rival Poppies and Diamonds fans raise more than £4,000 by running London Marathon

Matt Ward (left) and Matt Spearman.
Matt Ward (left) and Matt Spearman.

Two rival footballs fans joined forces to raised more than £4,000 by running the London Marathon on Sunday (April 24).

AFC Rushden & Diamonds fan Matt Ward and Kettering Town fan Matt Spearman both ran the 26.2 mile race to raise funds for Crohn’s & Colitis UK.

The pair hadn’t previously met until the race and Mr Ward – who was diagnosed with Crohn’s in 2009 – completed the race in four hours and 48 minutes.

The Diamonds fan said: “I was so proud to have finished, to have not stopped to walk at any point and most importantly to raise more than £3,200 for Crohn’s & Colitis UK.”

Poppies fan Mr Spearman, whose fiancee Kate has a mild form of Crohn’s, finished the race in three hours, 29 minutes and 35 seconds.

He raised £1,400 and was delighted with his time.

He said: “The crowd were superb and so loud throughout the whole course.

“It was really encouraging having them cheer my name out as I ran past.

“Finally meeting Matt Ward at the Crohn’s & Colitis UK hospitality area after the race was very special; we were able to exchange our race experience and it was great to finally meet him in person.”

AFC Diamonds and the Poppies were set to meet on April 20 in the NFA Hillier Senior Cup final four days before the marathon, but the game was rescheduled due to fixture pile-ups for both clubs.

The final will now be played on Thursday, May 5, at Northampton Town’s Sixfields Stadium.