Southam United’s under-eight Saints’ team tackled the 5k Mini Military Mud Run on Sunday to raise money for their manager who suffered a massive brain haemorrhage at the start of the season.
Andy Latham, 52, collapsed at home in Southam in August and was taken to hospital where he underwent seven-and-a-half hours of surgery, with his family warned he may not pull through.
The construction industry project manager spent 39 days in a coma at University Hospital, Coventry, where doctors discovered he had suffered brain damage.
Latham has been left paralysed on his right side and unable to verbally communicate. But following his transfer to the Royal Leamington Spa Rehabilitation Hospital in Whitnash in October, he has continued to make steady progress and is now nearing the point where he can be discharged.
Latham - on a weekend visit home - was able to watch on Sunday as wife Kerry, 40, sons, Alfie, eight, who plays for Southam, Jack, 15, and nephews Cameron Hayes and Archie Mehra led the rest of the team, assorted parents, friends and relatives on the obstacle course just outside Dunchurch.
The event saw participants wading through water courses, crawling under nets in a muddy bog and squeezing through tyre barriers before finishing off with a hosing down by friendly firemen on a 50m water slide.
The team had hoped to raise £1,000 as a contribution towards the cost of alterations to help enable Latham to return to the family home.
But thanks to the generosity of friends, relatives and the local community, they had already reached that target by the start of this month.
“They now hope to raise at least £2,000 before their JustGiving fundraising page closes on April 30.
Andy Dolan, a family friend who has been helping to run the team in Latham’s absence, said: ‘The Latham family have had a terrible few months but there is now light at the end of the tunnel, with Andy hopefully set to be discharged from hospital soon.
‘The boys loved being coached by Andy and everybody connected to the team wanted to do something for his family to show our appreciation.
“I think the mud run proved to be more exhausting for the adults than the kids but it was certainly a great day out for everybody involved.”
Anybody wishing to donate to the team’s fundraising effort can go to https://crowdfunding.justgiving.com/sharon-cooper-1/