Fradley’s former footballer Geoff Horsfield swapping tackles for towpaths in preparation for 10k race

A former professional footballer from Lichfield is ready to do battle with his daughters in the Great Birmingham 10k race.

Ex-West Bromwich Albion, Fulham and Birmingham City player Geoff Horsfield has been getting in shape by pounding the canal towpaths near his home in Fradley.

Geoff Horsfield with his daughters Chloe and Leah

Geoff Horsfield with his daughters Chloe and Leah

But as well as getting back into shape, Geoff will also be hoping to finish ahead of daughters Chloe, 19, and 15-year-old Leah on May 1.

“When I told the family I’d signed up for the 10k, Chloe and Leah insisted on running with me,” said the 42-year-old, who was a bricklayer before turning pro in 1998. “When I got home from work the next day, they’d already gone out running round the estate!

“They’ve started training before me but I can’t let them beat me. Hopefully, we’ll run together and I’ll leave them for dead in the last 100m!

“Because of work, I’ve slacked on my fitness for the last two years. Apart from playing in a couple of charity games, I’ve not done much.

“I can’t remember the last time I went for a run. I haven’t even got any trainers!

“I’m nervous about the training but I’m looking forward to the challenge and getting back together with the other players who will hopefully do it too.

“I want to get as many ex-pros as possible running – so I’m not the only one having the mickey taken out of my beer belly. I’ve already roped in Ian Hamilton, the old Albion player, who I’m good friends with.”

Since leaving a coaching role at Port Vale in 2012, Geoff has returned to his roots in the building trade.

As well as hoping to shed a few pounds while training for the race, the former striker also hopes to raise money for the homeless – a cause that has grown close to his heart through his job at Local Housing Management & Support Services, where he works as a housing manager, which involves providing and maintaining supported accommodation for vulnerable people in Erdington.

Geoff Horsfield

Geoff Horsfield

“My daughters are passionate about what I do for a living and will be helping me raise money, as they know not everyone’s as fortunate as them to be living under their dad’s roof,” said Geoff, who is no stranger to adversity, having overcome testicular cancer in 2008 and undergone emergency treatment on blood clots on both lungs.

“I know as a coach I could help with the development of young footballers, but I feel as though I was born to do what I’m doing now – helping get vulnerable people off the streets, into accommodation and, in time, hopefully back to leading a normal life.

“I’m enjoying my job way too much to even contemplate going back into football.”

Horsfield was renowned for his all-action displays during his football career in which he made a combined 199 appearances for Blues and the Baggies, scoring 44 goals.

But he is absolutely dreading starting training for the 10k!

“I’m going to Tenerife with the lads, so I’m trying to get a bit of fitness and a bit of a body, which I haven’t had for about ten years,” quipped Horsfield.

“In fact, I didn’t really have one when I played football!

For more details on the Great Birmingham 10k visit the official website.

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Founder of LichfieldLive and editor of the site.

1 Comment

  1. Rob

    29th January, 2016 at 4:54 pm

    I hope isn’t too inconvenienced by all those nuisance bicycles blocking his way.