Sheffield United trainee, 17, swaps football boots for running shoes for mental health charity

A football trainee swapped his boots for running shoes to raise money for a very good cause.

Wednesday, 31st March 2021, 2:10 pm

Football mad Reece 17 kicked off his career in the sport when he joined the Sheffield United Futures, but because of lockdown restrictions he found himself kicking around without a game.

So the Stannington teen took up running to keep in shape and ended up shooting for a full 26-mile marathon.

So far thanks to sponsors he has raised more than £1,200 for Mental Health UK.

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17 year old Reece Nolan who completed a marathon for Mental Health UK. Picture Scott Merrylees

He said; “Over lockdown I started doing runs to keep up my fitness and I thought if I was doing so many runs I might as well do something for a good cause.

“I feel that mental health is such a huge issue which effects so many people in all different ways and felt this could be my way of helping.”

Reece completed the run in 4hrs 45 mins.

17 year old Reece Nolan who completed a marathon for Mental Health UK. Picture Scott Merrylees

“It was probably a bit harder than I thought it would be,” he said.

“I was planning to do it last month but I had a bit of minor surgery to for an ingrowing toenail so I’ve only been able to train for a few weeks before doing it .

“I play a lot of football as well and with that starting again with restrictions lifting I didn’t want to fit training around other things so I had two weeks intense training and then did it yesterday.”

He started the run in Stannington along Rivellin Road then Crosspool Crookes Walkely around Hillsbrough and Loxley and Damflask, recording his progress on the Strava app.

The former Forge Valley student said: “I want to say a great thank you to my dad Daniel Nolan who ran around 16km with me at different stages to help break the run up and help me along.

“The rest of my family have all done the very best they can to support and help me through it and boost my confidence.

His mum Keely, 37, added: “It’s absolutely fantastic what he has done and we are all really proud of him. He did the training on his own and his dad Daniel kept coming on with water and then having a run with him to keep him going.”