Stoke fan Chris Devine is continuing his long association with Wigan-based charity ‘Joseph’s Goal’ by putting his body to the ultimate test – aiming to complete 15 marathons in just over 30 days.
Devine, 34, announced last August that he would run a marathon for each win Wigan Athletic recorded in the 2019/20 season; a figure which rose considerably in the second half of the season with Latics winning 10 of their last 18 league games.
After provisionally planning to carry out the challenge in June, he has been putting in the miles in September instead and at the start of October he sits just three marathons short of his incredible target.
Such a commitment is for ‘Joseph’s Goal’ which was set up for Joseph Kendrick – an 11-year-old who has a ‘rare life-limiting genetic disorder’ called NKH (Non-Kelotic Hyperglycinemia) – with the aim to raise funds towards vital research.
And over the last decade multiple sporting organisations, including the Wigan Warriors and Wigan Athletic have come together to support the charity.
Speaking on his thought process of coming up with the challenge Devine said: “I wanted to do something Wigan related simply because I know Joseph’s Goal is so well known in Wigan.
“In the first part of the season there were a couple of weeks where I wanted them [Wigan] to win but they didn’t just because they were not winning many games at all.
“Then it went crazy and they were winning most games.”
This isn’t the first time Chris Devine has been involved with the charity however.
It has been close to his heart since previously working with Joseph’s dad Paul – a familiar figure in the area as lead sports writer for the Wigan Observer.
In 2016, Devine completed the arduous task of completing five marathons in five days, a challenge he had contemplated for some time.
He said: “I’d done a couple of marathons in the past including the London Marathon in 2013 in a giant panda costume.
“About three or four months before that I’d got to know about the charity [Joseph’s Goal] and I said at the time I’d look to do something for them.”
The challenge raised over £2000, though it took its toll on Devine who had three trips to the minor injuries unit across the five days.
Four years on and once again Devine has received incredible support.
“It’s been really good all the support that’s come in from Wigan fans with lots of people who I haven’t met who on twitter will be sort of sending messages”, said Devine.
“I’ve had donations from multiple people I don’t know which is just so generous.”
Devine has beaten his target of £2000 being raised and is hoping to break the £3000 barrier when he has completed the challenge.