FORMER Altrincham FC star Mark Maddox completed the London Marathon on Sunday - to become the first person suffering from motor neurone disease (MND) to do so.

Mark Maddox, aged 40, was told he was living with the incurable disease two and a half years ago.

The disease attacks the nerves and leads to muscle wasting, affecting how sufferers walk, talk and breathe.

The former Robins captain ran the London Marathon on behalf of the MND Association, raising more than £5,000 for the charity.

Mark said: “As soon as I started off the crowd were amazing and after three or four miles I saw an Altrincham fan with an Altrincham football kit on waving to me and that gave me a massive boost.

“The support has been unbelievable to be honest, I might be unlucky having MND but I think I am blessed to have the family that I have behind me.”

He was diagnosed with the degenerative disease when he was 37, giving him a life expectancy of up to five years, which was devastating for him and his young family.

Doctors believed he wouldn’t be able to finish the marathon but he completed it in six hours and 40 minutes.

Mark said “They understood that it was my way of coping with it, if I keep my mind focused and give myself challenges they know that’s how I deal with this kind of thing”.

He joined Altrincham Football Club in 1996 and played for them for 10 years. He then completed his UEFA A licence to coach football at a high level when he was diagnosed with MND.

Altrincham Football Club secretary, Derek Wilshaw described him as a strong player at the club, which has been supporting him throughout the past two and a half years.

Mr Wilshaw said: “His success is magnificent to the condition that he is suffering from. He is so mentally strong and he won’t give in to his condition.”

Mark has three young children; Sonny, aged 12, Vinny, aged seven, and Bo aged four.

He said: “It’s hard because I can’t even play football with the kids and I can’t do stuff that you normally do with young children.

“I just want to thank everyone who has supported us. It’s been absolutely fantastic and I don’t think I could have done it without all the support I have got.”