Michael Lynagh and Team Sky for Stroke

International rugby legend and Sky Sports Analyst Michael Lynagh last night launched his Team Sky for Stroke team running the London Marathon on 21 April 2013 in aid of the Stroke Association.

Michael is taking on one of London’s toughest physical challenges since surviving a near fatal stroke less than a year ago with seven of his Sky Sports colleagues.

Michael said: “I see myself as one of the lucky ones being able to go back to work – not all stroke survivors get that chance and I’m excited to try and help change that.”


Sponsor Michael and the team...

Michael recently made a video that was shown at Twickenham Stadium, appealing for donations:

Team Sky for Stroke

The team is: Michael Lynagh, James Gemmell, Louisa Collington; Bill Latham; Rory Child; James Lewis; Dean Ryan; Tyrone Howe

Team Sky for stroke was the brainchild of Sky Sports Rugby presenter James Gemmell. Having been inspired by Michael’s recovery from a severe stroke and also a close family friend James wanted to do something to raise awareness for stroke and the Stroke Association and so signed up to run the London Marathon. When Michael heard what he was doing he in turn was inspired to sign up, and the rest as they say is history!

Team Sky for Stroke are raising funds for the Stroke Association to help fund a unique Back to Work project with the objective of employing a full time Employment Support Coordinator to:

  • Develop and implement a 12-week modular support and training 'Back to Work' programme for disabled stroke survivors of working age.
  • Identify potential beneficiaries from all London Boroughs and provide the programme to all those who need it.
  • Develop a referral pathway by integrating the programme with local Stroke Association Life After Stroke Services, other health and social care services, and vocational and employment services.
  • Develop partnerships with London-based employers to provide both paid and voluntary work placements, and encourage programme participants to become volunteers within the Stroke Association
  • The team anticipate that our project will directly benefit 80 people annually, with approximately 50 participating in the programme and the remainder receiving support and guidance. The project will also benefit many more people indirectly (families and carers, for example).

Stroke facts

  • There are 152,000 strokes a year in the UK
  • It's commonly thought that stroke only affects older people, but 25% of strokes happen in people under the age of 65.
  • Strokes happen in children too. Around 400 strokes a year are in those under 18.

Night at the Ritz

On 29 January the team announced they will be running the London Marathon at an evening at London's Ritz hotel. The night included speeches from stroke survivors, members of the team and Michael himself. Read the press release here.

Here are a selection of the photos from the night (photos by Theo Wood):

Michael welcoming guests

(Left to right) Lil Sullivan, Inger Wallis, Michael Lynagh, Amanda Pitt Brown, Sarah Scott, Joanie Scott

Michael Lynagh with teammate James Gemmell