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Rugby star Gareth Thomas encourages runners to raise money for stroke survivors

David Davies/PA Wire

By Jemma Crew, PA Health and Science Correspondent

Former rugby player Gareth Thomas is calling for people to lace up their trainers to raise money for stroke survivors.

The former Wales and British Lions rugby captain, who made 100 test appearances for Wales between 1995 and 2007, had a stroke aged 28 at the peak of his fitness.

He is urging survivors and their loved ones to take part in the Stroke Association's Resolution Run series - which offers 34 UK events with distances ranging from 1K to 15K this spring.

Thomas, 45, said: "I had a stroke and know all too well that recovery is as individual as each survivor.

"That's why the Stroke Association is encouraging people to join its Resolution Run and raise funds to help rebuild more lives after stroke."

More than 1.2 million stroke survivors in the UK are living with effects such as speech difficulties, memory loss and mental health issues.

Andrew Cook, fundraising director at the Stroke Association, said: "We're thrilled to have Gareth on board to help raise the profile of our Resolution Run series. Having a sporting legend and stroke survivor like Gareth backing our campaign helps people understand that a stroke can strike anyone, at any time.

"Stroke recovery is a marathon not a sprint... The Resolution Run is the perfect opportunity to mark a milestone in your own stroke recovery, show your support for a friend or family member affected by stroke, or in memory of a loved one."

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