Former Manchester United midfielder Quinton Fortune has hailed the man who helped him over the finishing line at Sunday's (23 April) Virgin Money London Marathon. Exhaustion almost ended the 39-year-old's hopes of finishing Sunday’s race, only for kind-hearted Tommy Lewis to come to his aid.
Lewis says he saw a runner struggling coming into the closing stages and followed his instinct to encourage him to the finish. He was, however, unaware that he was aiding a former Premier League winner.
“I was just running down Embankment when I just saw this bloke struggling,” the 25-year-old said.
“I just kept saying to him ‘come on, we are not that far away now’ but he started to struggle even more. He almost fell over so I managed to put my arm around him.
"He was mumbling about ‘sub four hours’, which is the time most runners aim to complete the marathon in, and I kept saying ‘we are almost there, we can do it’.”
Tommy only realised he was helping an ex-footballer as they approached the finishing line, but insists he would have acted the same regardless of who the runner was.
Leicester City FC fan added: “In all fairness, he was incoherent. I have never seen anyone like it, but I could hear people chanting his name and I looked at his top and realised it was him and he was running for the Manchester United Foundation.
“I didn’t really think about it until this morning. I would have helped anyone out who was struggling, it just happened to be him.”
Fortune received medical attention after being assisted in finishing the race and later took to Twitter to hail Lewis as ‘an angel’ following his selfless actions.