A HAMPSHIRE man has raised over £3,000 for Saints Foundation after running the equivalent of almost 24 marathons.

Billy Shameti, 42, of Blackfield, has run 50 kilometers every week since January and completed his 1,000km challenge with a dash from Staplewood to St Mary’s last Saturday.

Billy managed to raise £3,100 through his challenge, which he is now donating to Saints Foundation, the charity of Southampton FC.

After his run from Staplewood Training Ground to St Mary’s Stadium, he was greeted by family, friends and Saints Foundation staff.

Daily Echo: Billy Shameti completing his 1,000km running challenge for Saints Foundation. Photo by: SFC Media. Billy Shameti completing his 1,000km running challenge for Saints Foundation. Photo by: SFC Media.

He also received encouragement from the Saints squad, with players including Danny Ings and James Ward-Prowse sending messages of support.

Billy, who works for a catering company used by the football club said: “The past 5 months have been incredible! Running 50km a week has pushed my body through limits I didn’t even know I had.

“But what kept me going? Knowing I was doing this for such an amazing charity like Saints Foundation. The work they do within the community has inspired me and impacted thousands!”

The challenge - dubbed Billy’s Bolt - was originally set up with a fundraising target of £2,500.

But using an online JustGiving page to raise the money, Billy went passed his target, beating it by £600.

He added: “Thanks so much to everyone for the tremendous amount of support, especially to my family and friends who ran with me along the way to everyone who has donated even the smallest amount.

Jazz Bhatti, Fundraising and Partnerships Manager at Saints Foundation, said: “A huge thank you to Billy for raising over £3,000 for our work in the community.

“It comes at a time when our support means more than ever to our participants, who like everyone have been hugely impacted by this pandemic.

“Billy has absolutely smashed this challenge, raising an incredible amount of money, and his motivation is an inspiration to us all.”

To donate to Billy's page, click here.