Former Doncaster Rovers player collapses just yards from finish line in London Marathon

Quinton Fortune during his spell at Doncaster Rovers.
Quinton Fortune during his spell at Doncaster Rovers.

A former Doncaster Rovers player collapsed just yard from the finish line in the London Marathon and had to be helped home by a fellow runner.

Quinton Fortune, 39, who played for Rovers during the 2009-10 season, was helped across the line by caring Tommy Lewis after he collapsed with just 600 yards to go in Sunday's race.

Fortune celebrates scoring for Rovers against Ipswich in 2010.

Fortune celebrates scoring for Rovers against Ipswich in 2010.

The South African footballer, who also played for Manchester United during his career, was struggling in the home straight but was aided by Leicester City fan, Tommy, who sacrificed his own time to help the retired player over the line.

Tommy, 25, told the Coventry Telegraph that he saw Fortune struggling when he was running down the Embankment.

He said: 'I just kept saying to him "come on, we are not that far away now" but he started to struggle even more, he almost fell over so I managed to put my arm around him.

'He was mumbling about 'sub four hours' which is the time most runners aim to complete the marathon in, and I kept saying "we are almost there, we can do it."'

Fortune fell down within sight of the finish line and was carried by Lewis and a race marshal to the finish line.

But it was only after the trio crossed the finish line that Tommy realised who he'd helped.

He tweeted: 'You are an angel, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you and the other gentleman for helping over the line.'

Added Tommy: 'I have never seen anything like it, but I could hear people chanting his name and I looked at his top and realised it was him and he was running for the Manchester United foundation.'

Fortune's last professional deal was with Rovers, where he played six games and scored one goal.