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Former rugby player tries to complete London Marathon in full Rugby kit to help tackle meningitis

The teammate of former Warwickshire rugby player whose son died of meningitis 16 years ago attempts to smash Guinness world record – running the London marathon in full rugby kit!

Duncan Nelson in full kit outside Banana Moon Day Nursery Harbury.

Banana Moon Day Nursery Harbury owner Duncan Nelson is running the London marathon and attempting to break the world record to raise money for his former rugby teammate Rod Adlington. Rod sadly lost his son Barney aged three-and-a-half to meningitis in 2005, approximately 12 hours after he first complained of a headache.

Barney Adlington, who tragically died of meningitis aged 3.5 years old in 2005.

Duncan is determined to celebrate Barney’s life and raise money for Meningitis Now by breaking the record for running in rugby shorts, socks, shirt, scrum hat, mouth guards AND rugby ball! The rugby kit Duncan will be in is his former team, Claverdon RFC. Claverdon RFC may be a small rugby club, but its heart is bigger than most. When tragedy struck in 2005 everyone, past and present, was devastated, including Duncan.

“Claverdon did its very best to support the Adlington family and continues to support Meningitis Now as a charity. Rod had been our Club Captain and a true leader of men. It went without saying that the whole club would get behind him and his family.”

Barney’s father, Rod (second left) and Duncan (second from right, front row) after a match for Claverdon RFC in 2001.


“Like many rugby clubs around the land, Claverdon is one big family, bonded together by various bands of brothers who played together for many years. To attempt this record whilst wearing the red & white of Claverdon will be a proud and emotional day”


Rod, who played alongside teammate Duncan, often brought sons Barney and Toby to games and their faces were soon familiars at the club.

Duncan hoped to raise a target of £4000 for Meningitis Now, but that has almost been doubled! Meningitis now provides valuable support to the families affected by meningitis, funds research & works to raise the public’s awareness of the disease.

With the London Marathon only a few days away Duncan is training hard and hoping he can beat the current record holder for a place in the record book.

This year’s London Marathon is taking place on the 3rd of October.

To donate to this cause, visit


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