News - 9th June 2021

Going for Gold: Running in honour of hockey hero Imran


In 1988 Steve Batchelor set up Imran Sherwani for the third goal as the Great Britain men’s hockey team beat West Germany 3-1 to win gold at the Seoul Olympics.


The goal led to one of the most famous pieces of sports commentary in British TV history as Barry Davies delivered the iconic line ‘Where were the Germans? But frankly who cares?’.


Now Steve is supporting his team-mate in a different way.


He has set up a team of runners for this year’s Virgin Money London Marathon raising money for dementia research in honour of Imran, who has been diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. The team, who are aptly called Going for Gold, also includes Imran’s son Zac.


Imran was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in December 2019, aged just 57. Last week he made his diagnosis public to support the launch of the team. You can watch a video about his story here.


Imran said: “At first my mood changed and I became withdrawn. I wanted to be on my own and not talk to people. I started to struggle with tasks that ordinarily I would be quick to do.


“We weren’t sure what was causing it and thought it might be stress. I was initially dismissive of it. I knew I needed help, but I found it difficult to admit it.


“Eventually it got to the point that I was on the edge of breaking down because the situation had put such a strain on me, so I went to the doctor. That led to a three-year journey of tests and brain scans until I was eventually diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.


“I have gone from fighting the disease to accepting it, and that has made every day easier to live through. Every day of my life, I am thankful for having wonderful people around me, especially my lovely wife.


“I’m so thankful to Steve, Zac and the team for raising money for Alzheimer’s Research UK. I’m looking forward to hopefully cheering everyone on at the marathon.


“I hope that dementia research can help improve diagnosis so other people won’t have to go through the lengthy and difficult process I went through, and that treatments can be found to help people in the future.”


You can donate to the team here. And keep an eye out for a special hockey challenge being launched soon to support the team’s fundraising.


If you have your own place in the London Marathon, such as through the ballot or a good-for-age-place, we’d love you to join #TeamARUK and run for parkrun UK’s official charity partner. You can also fundraise for us if you have a place in the Virtual London Marathon.

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