Danny Mills, the former England, Manchester City and Leeds United defender will take on the biggest challenge of his life on Sunday 18th April next year when he attempts to complete the inaugural Brighton Marathon- in a wheelchair.

In addition to the arduous and rigorous training needed to complete the 26.2 miles, it is also Danny's mission to raise awareness of the day-to-day challenges wheelchair users can face- from inaccessible transport and buildings to negative attitudes. He plans to spend a week living as a wheelchair user- highlighting the barriers faced by disabled people throughout the country.

Danny hopes that he’ll help change attitudes to people who use wheelchairs on a daily basis and he’ll be raising funds for two disability charities – the Association for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus (ASBAH), to which he is Patron, and the National Association of Disabled Supporters (NADS) as Danny believes all should be able to get to football matches as easily and often as they choose.

‘It won’t be easy, but I want to show how everyday things we take for granted can be a lot more difficult when you are a wheelchair user, like going to the shops, the movies or down the pub’, said Danny, who launches his Wheelchair Challenge at the Hotel du Vin in Harrogate on Tuesday 20th October.

‘Wheelchair marathon racers show how a wheelchair can be fast and efficient on the course, but what should also be a good way to get about in everyday life can be limited by the environment and other peoples’ attitudes to disability.” he added.

Danny recently launched ASBAH’s Fit for Success initiative, to encourage people with Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus to become more active and to support aspiring Paralympians. ‘I want to show just how difficult and hard the training is for our Paralympian athletes, and the extra dedication they need to get to the very top.’

Danny has already received messages of support and offers of help and advice from wheelchair users throughout the country including Dame Tanni Grey Thompson and David Weir who are keen to follow his progress during the arduous training schedule and to find out how he copes with a week using a wheelchair to get around.

Published 12/10/2009