AN ex-Wirral marathon runner, who recently completed a 40 mile cross peninsular slog to raise funds to help children of fallen servicemen, has applauded the generosity of local people who helped him raise £6,000.

Alan Knell, formerly of Wallasey, was joined by five ex-servicemen friends to tackle a complete lap of the Wirral peninsula in two days.

Alan, who now lives in Runcorn, said: "There were so many people in Wirral that helped us and showed great support.  We managed to raise £6,000 which was way beyond our target figure of £2,000.

"Most of us are Tranmere Rovers fans and we have had loads of support from the club. The cash we raised will be a tremendous help for our charity Scotty’s Little Soldiers."

The charity was set up by Nicola, the wife of Cpl Lee Scott, one of the casualties of the Afghanistan conflict, leaving behind two young children.

Around £350,000 has been raised for a holiday home in Norfolk for families of fallen heroes to retreat to and ease their bereavement.

The route chosen by Alan and his co-runners was mainly along coastal paths and the Wirral Way. They set off from Tranmere Rovers' Prenton Park ground and headed for the coast. 

They covered 22 miles on the first day and camped overnight at Neston Cricket Club before completing the run the following day.

Alan, 32, decided that marathon running would offer the best chance to raise funds for the charity. Earlier this year he took part in the Chester Marathon.

He said: "The charity provides support for hundreds of families who have lost loved ones; there have been scores of servicemen who have lost their lives in Afghanistan alone."

Funds are raised through special events, donations, merchandising and corporate sponsorships. Children receive cards, gifts, tickets for events and fees for local sports and activities.