Accountant Andy Coombes is to help get the finances of Devizes Opportunity Centre into the black when he runs the London Marathon on April 13 for our Give Us A Chance Appeal.

Mr Coombes, 41, who works for David Owen accountants in Market Place, Devizes, hopes to complete the 26.2-mile course in under four hours.

He expects his efforts to raise around £500 for the nursery, which looks after children from babies to five years with a wide range of learning difficulties and health problems.

Mr Coombes was a stalwart of the Devizes Town Football Club team which, under manager Brian Newlands, went the whole 1999/2000 season undefeated.

Mr Coombes said: “Brian used to take us on some very testing training runs but I always enjoyed this side of the training.

“He had run the marathon himself in some ridiculously quick time of around 2hrs 30mins but there is no way I will be doing it in anything like that. I have run a few half marathons but this will be my first full one.”

He is hoping his old team mates will be sponsoring him and he is also expecting backing from colleagues, friends and family.

He said: “I got my place in the marathon through the ballot back in October and I had originally thought I would just run but then when I saw the stories in the paper about the opportunity centre I thought it would be a good way to raise some money for them.”

He and his wife, Julie, have a three-year-old daughter Lily.

Mr Coombes said the articles in the Gazette about children who are helped at the centre hit home.

He said: “It makes you realise how lucky you are and I am glad to be able to do my bit to help.”

To sponsor Mr Coombes go to CoombesLondon2014