Former Manchester United goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar has swapped his boots for trainers and will run the New York Marathon on 4 November.
The Dutchman, who celebrates his 42nd birthday six days before the event, is raising money for Headway, a UK charity that supports people affected by brain injury.
Edwin's wife Annemarie suffered a brain heamorrhage in December 2009, just two days before Christmas, and has recovered well. She'll even join him in New York and compete in the shorter Dash To The Finish Line 5km run.
“The UK still means a great deal to me,” Edwin says. “I spent many important years of my career in the country and always received tremendous support wherever I played.
“Like most people, Annemarie and I didn’t know a great deal about brain injury until Annemarie fell ill. We now know things could have been much worse and many families are not as lucky as we were."
In 2011, the couple set up the Edwin van der Sar Foundation to raise funds to support those affected by brain injury.
“The Foundation is relatively new,” said Edwin, “so to date we’ve focused on projects in the Netherlands. However, we’ve seen first-hand the excellent work Headway does in helping people here in the UK who have sustained brain injuries and we want to help."
To sponsor Edwin and Annemarie’s New York Marathon runs, visit www.justgiving.com/Edwin-van-der-sar .