MUCH of the country were building snowmen on Sunday morning, but Braintree Town boss Brad Quinton was pounding the pavements in the name of charity.
Quinton, coaching staff Dave Blackmore and Ben Sewell along with Iron fan Richard Knott ran 5km around the Olympic Park as their total for Great Ormond Street Hospital ticked well past £2,000.
It’s a cause close to Quinton following a harrowing time for his seven-year-old son Bobby, who was diagnosed with a serious heart condition and recently underwent surgery.
“It was really, really cold – there was no backing out of it,” Quinton, who would have been joined by more of his coaching team had it not been for snow causing travel chaos on the M11, told The NLP. “It was a great day and great to see so many people doing the same thing of running for a great cause.
“When you get over that finish line you realise what you’ve put in, especially in the conditions. It’s not just myself but everyone who was running and raising money for hospital and charities.
“It’s amazing what Great Ormond Street did for my son. It was just remarkable – we’re going to be doing more next year!”
After complaining of a really fast heart rate, Quinton took son Bobby to hospital and was sent away with a monitor for 24 hours.
But at 11pm that night Quinton took a phone call explaining Bobby needed to be admitted after readings of 244 beats/minute before it crashed down to 42 beats/minute.
Eventually it led to a recent cardiac ablation at Great Ormond Street Hospital to help fix the condition known as Supraventricular tachycardia (SVT).
“He’s back to school and he wants to go back to his football,” Quinton said. “He’s fighting fit – we’re just trying to hold the strings back on him at the minute! He’s a terrific lad, and so is his brother Teddy, so it’s good.
“It’s remarkable we found it. The six hours of my life when he was having heart surgery was a real bad place for me. It’s your worst nightmare.
“He wants to get playing again and get involved with his team that starting in a league in January. He’s missed out a little bit because he was invited over to West Ham, so he was a bit gutted because he was doing really well, but we’ve fixed him now and it’s onwards and upwards with him.”
The 38-year-old left Enfield Town in the summer after two successful seasons to return to the club he holds legendary status as a player.
He won three promotions as they reached Non-League’s top tier and also boasts scoring against Joe Hart in the FA Cup the day before the England goalkeeper sealed a £1.1m move from Shrewsbury to Manchester City.
Now in the dug-out, Quinton prides himself on helping his young players improve, varying training sessions and building on the platform Braintree have given themselves for an instant return to Step 1.
“We worked hard in pre-season in recruiting the right people who are hungry to determined to progress,” said Quinton, who assembled a whole new squad in the off-season. “At the moment, touch wood, we’ve found the right formula. The boys are doing well, along the way we’re going to make some mistakes because they’re young.
“But for an average age of 22 to be joint-top coming up to Christmas is a remarkable achievement so I’ve got no complaints with my group.
“This club is a National League club. When I was a player playing someone who was higher than me or had been higher, you always seemed to raise your game. So they’re dealing with that as well – the aspect that this is a club that has come down from the National League.
“People might not take into account that they’re young – some have never played at this level – and they’re playing for a big club. It’s a credit to them.”