Running for Justin - Luke Young
Tue 08 June 2021, 11:01|Tottenham Hotspur
Our former defender Luke Young is set to run 100 kilometres in a day - all in aid of the JE3 Foundation.
Set up in the memory of his former team-mate Justin Edinburgh, a Spurs legend who tragically passed away from a cardiac arrest two years ago today, the JE3 Foundation supports UK heart health charities and is campaigning for legislative change - through Justin’s Law - to make it compulsory for all health, fitness and sports facilities to be equipped with a Public Access Defibrillator (PAD).
And to raise awareness of that important work, as well as funds to support it, Luke, a boyhood Spurs fan who graduated through our Academy to make almost 100 appearances for us at the turn of the century, has decided to take on the Thames Path Challenge in Justin’s name - a man who had a big influence on his career.
The challenge, which is taking place in September, is a 100 kilometre run along the banks of the River Thames here in London, beginning in Fulham before heading west and finishing in Henley.
“It’s basically a 100km run in one day - it’s called the Thames Path Challenge. You start in Fulham and then you run, walk, jog, whatever you want to do, all the way to Henley," Luke explained. "I’m going to try and run most of the 100km so it's almost two marathons, if you like. I don’t normally do stuff like this but every now and again, I like to give myself something to do, to get stuck into and keep my fitness levels up.
“When Justin passed, I obviously saw the connection he had with his boy Charlie, and I remember Charlie being a young nipper up in the lounge at White Hart Lane with his Edinburgh ‘3’ shirt on. I just really felt that father-son connection and how close Charlie was with his dad.
"Justin was one of those guys that made life easy for you when you went up into the first team, not by putting his arm round you saying ‘come on mate, you’ll be alright, but really by taking the absolute ‘mick’ out of you because he had such a larger-than-life character on him. He made you feel part of it and welcome.
"He was a big influence on me when I went into the first team. I travelled up and down on the bus to games with him as well, stuff like that. He was a big influence on me and obviously a hero of mine having won the FA Cup with Spurs in ’91 when I was a younger lad cheering them on in my living room.
“I had lost touch with Justin a little bit throughout the years, but he was always someone that you would touch base with every now and again. I just felt that if I was going to do something then I wanted to something in Justin’s name. I was going to do it last year, but it was cancelled so, now it’s rolled over, I rang Charlie (Justin's son, CEO of the JE3 Foundation) to ask if I could do it for the Justin Edinburgh 3 Foundation. He was nothing but supportive of it and really proud that I was going to do it for Justin.
“It’s just about getting the charity out there and the knowledge of the fact that… I can’t believe that it isn’t a legal requirement for defibrillators to be at sport centres and gyms across the country. That baffles me and it’s one thing that Charlie and the family are trying to get through into law that there should be an on-site defibrillator that would save lives and possibly could have saved Justin’s life as well.”
Anyone who wishes to make a donation to Luke's fundraising efforts, however big or small, can do so via his JustGiving page.