Reality TV stars and football boss back Liam’s Smiles

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The Liam's Smiles runners at Sunday's Warwick Half Marathon.

THE Apprentice star Gary Poulton was among the 1,500 runners who took part in Sunday’s Warwick Half Marathon.

Gary – named Mr Corporate by Sir Alan Sugar – was among a team of runners who were wearing the vest of charity Meningitis Now and supporting charity Liam’s Smiles – named after Tanworth-in-Arden Primary School pupil Liam Doyle, who was diagnosed with meningitis in 2010.

Also running in Warwick was Liam’s mum, Becky, and PJ Ellis, who was a contestant in the early years of reality TV show Big Brother.

Gary and PJ are friends of the Doyle family.

The Warwick Half Marathon was a warm-up event for the team, who will also take part in this year’s London Marathon. They are aiming to raise £30,000 for Meningitis Now through Liam’s Smiles.

Gary Poulton, star of last year's The Apprentice on BBC One, is among the Liam's Smiles running team aiming to raise £30,000.
Gary Poulton, star of last year’s The Apprentice on BBC One, is among the Liam’s Smiles running team aiming to raise £30,000.

Among the 11 runners on Sunday, 24th April, will be Birmingham City FC manager Gary Rowett.

Liam’s dad, Colin, used to play for Birmingham City.

Gary said: “The Warwick run was really good, although we parked three miles away in Hatton, so by the time we’d finished we’d done another six miles on top of the half marathon!

“But it was all good training for London. I’ve done it before, and said at the time: ‘Never again’, but it’s for a great cause so will be worth it.”

Also in Team Liam’s Smiles in London will be Birmingham City’s U21 team manager, Richard Beale; commercial manager, Ian Dutton; and Tim Andrews, Chief Executive of the club’s Ladies team.

Becky said: “Colin played for Birmingham for so many years and they really became part of our family, so at last year’s end-of-season dinner he asked Gary (Rowett) if he’d do the marathon with us and he said: ‘get me a place and I’ll do it’.

“He phoned Colin the next day to say he wasn’t joking.

“It’ll be tough, I did my first run at the Stratford Half Marathon last year, so it will be exactly a year to the day. Some of the money we raise will be used by Meningitis Now for projects in the Midlands, which will be great.”

Making up the Liam’s Smiles runners are: Matthew Holden-Jones, Andy Whelan, Si Smith, Paul Rivers and Chris O’Brien.

To donate to the fund, click here