New Year Honours 2020: Marathon fundraiser made MBE

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David PhillipsImage source, David Phillips
Image caption,
David Phillips completed his 500th marathon in April

A fundraiser who has run every London Marathon since 2002 has been made an MBE in the Queen's New Year Honours.

David Phillips, 75, from Claverdon, Warwickshire, has raised over £135,000 from the marathon for the Brain and Spine Foundation charity, to support people with neurological problems.

In total, he has run 500 marathons and 360 half marathons since 1982.

Mr Phillips said he was pleased someone felt "grateful enough" to put him forward for the honour.

The fundraiser, who is married to Robina, first got into running while a hooker in the first team at Kenilworth Rugby Club.

"We saw a thing adverting the Coventry Marathon and we said we would do it," he said.

"It was a Saturday night in the bar, we had not a clue how far it was, where it was, what to wear but two out of the five of us actually did it.

"Then I found one in Stratford-upon-Avon, one in Stoke-on-Trent, Wolverhampton and suddenly you find them all over place."

Image source, Anna Phillips
Image caption,
David has met Olympic athlete and sports presenter Colin Jackson through his charity work

Mr Phillips said it was "a joy" to run for a charity that helped people with neurological problems.

"For someone to say thank you for this... I am pleased from a personal point of view but I would be very pleased even if it hadn't happened.

"It is not something I deserve, I love doing all these things."

Image source, David Phillips
Image caption,
The runner, pictured with his wife Robina, is also a choir member

Mr Phillips is a member of Warwickshire-based choir the Armenico Consort and, through sponsorship, has helped it create more than 200 children's choirs across the UK.

Other honours recipients from Coventry and Warwickshire include:

  • Yewande Mayomi-Akinola, an engineer, mentor and TV presenter from Rugby, is appointed MBE for services to engineering and diversity in STEM design and innovation
  • Robert Smith, from Leamington Spa, is made an MBE for services to international trade and people with disabilities. After overcoming a fall from a cliff and suffering a spinal cord injury, he used it as a catalyst to help disabled people across the world

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