Ex-QPR full-back Don Shanks running New York Marathon to raise funds for club legend Stan Bowles' dementia care

That’s especially the case when it comes to Don Shanks and Stan Bowles’ relationship.

Shanks wasn’t sure if his knees would hold up at first – so delayed an announcement on taking part in the gruelling 26-mile run next month.

But four months on – and 10kg down – the ex-Rangers full-back is ready for the biggest challenge of his life to date.

Speaking to SunSport he said: I’ve obviously had to stay away from the burgers!

“I've put my body through all sorts of agony – but it will all be worth it when I reach that finish line.

Over the past five years the ex-striker's condition has got progressively worse.

There’s nothing I’d love more than to be able to go down the pub and have a beer with him. I miss that.


– This is the most common cause of dementia.

– Alzheimer’s disease, named after the doctor who first described it (Alois Alzheimer), is a physical disease that affects the brain.

– There are over 850,000 people with dementia in the UK, with numbers set to rise to over £1m by 2025.

– 225,000 will develop dementia this year and one in six people are over the age of 80.

– Symptoms include memory loss and difficulties with thinking, problem-solving or language.

-These symptoms occur when the brain is damaged by certain diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease.

– People with Alzheimer’s also have a shortage of some important chemicals in their brain.

– These chemical messengers help to transmit signals around the brain. When there is a shortage of them, the signals are not transmitted as effectively.

– Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease. This means that gradually, over time, more parts of the brain are damaged.

– As this happens, more symptoms develop and become more severe.

Shanks begins to tear up as he talks about the old days with Stan at QPR.

"I go and see him once every couple of months and you sit with him for half an hour and it’s just so hard – physically and mentally.

You can donate to Don's Marathon run for Stan in three ways:

  • www.gofundme.com/running-for-stan
  • www.gofundme.com/The-QPR-Nr-10-Foundation
  • www.gofundme.com/running-for-alzheimers-society

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