5-a-side charity marathon

Josh Lambert
Josh Lambert

A young man with a rare heart condition has organised a charity five-a-side football marathon.

Organiser Josh Lambert, from Poolstock, will act as referee and try and keep track of the score over the 12-hour match which is being held between 9am and 9pm on Saturday at the Soccerdome.

The 24-year-old was diagnosed with Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome in 2013, a rare condition that causes part of his heart to beat too fast, leaving him feeling dizzy and faint if he does too much.

He was diagnosed after he had surgery on his stomach to fix a problem that was causing him to be sick between eight and ten times a day.

But the operation wasn’t a success and left him unable to eat properly. So in 2014 he had it reversed and now controls both conditions with tablets.

His heart condition causes him to have episodes where he feels faint and like he is going to pass out but he can now normally recognise when this is going to happen.

He said: “When I have an episode I get really sweaty and feel like I am going to pass out.

“I could have an operation to fix it but because the area affected is so close to a main artery and they would need to burn away the affected part, it would mean I would have to have a pacemaker fitted and I am only 24.

“I started being sick when I was 18 and had the operation in 2013 where they wrapped my stomach around my oesophagus so I couldn’t be sick.

“But it meant I couldn’t swallow food properly and it would get stuck so in 2014 I was able to have it reversed.

“Since then I have been getting better. I haven’t been being sick as much.

“But it has only been in the last year or so I have really got my strength back so about six months ago I set up a five-a-side team. I have always wanted to play football and do something for charity so this seemed like the best thing to do.”

The marathon will consist of two teams of 10 on rolling subs basis.

“As soon as anyone gets tired they will be able to come off and then go back on again later,” Josh, a learning support assistant at The Deanery, said.

“I will be referee and also keeping track of the top goal scorer and other things. From my five-a-side team I know quite a few people who play regularly and quite a few people have volunteered.

“I have started to recognise when I am going to have an episode and can take action to avoid it happening and the tablets are working so I don’t need the operation for the foreseeable future.”

To donate visit justgiving.com/fundraising/12hour5asidefootball.