A FOOTBALL club’s mascot is in training to run the Great North Run to support a charity close to his manager’s heart.

H’Angus the Monkey and Hartlepool United boss Colin Cooper will both tackle the half marathon for the Finlay Cooper Fund.

Last season the crazy monkey mascot walked 18 miles in pouring rain from the club’s training ground in Durham to Victoria Park for the game with Yeovil Town.

The cheery mascot will join 41 other runners competing on behalf of the Fund on Sunday, September 15 and Pools boss Cooper is proud that so many people are backing their drive to support local children’s charities.

He said: “We bought 20 spots for Great North Run and they went very, very quickly so we were able to get fifteen more from another charity who weren’t using them.

“We then got seven more to boost the overall total to 42 runners which is brilliant for the Fund and it makes us very proud.

“Anyone who supports us by sponsoring the runners, or attending any event, is very much appreciated because it allows us to do what we love doing best – making donations to worthy children’s causes.”

The charity was set up by the club’s manager and former Middlesbrough player in memory of his son who died in 2002.

Last year he managed to complete the run in one hour and fifty minutes but he’s hoping he can shave some time off in this time.

“I have to say that I’d never done a half marathon before last year but I loved every single minute of it,” he said.

“I don’t know if I will ever get round to doing a full marathon but the support you get from the crowds right from coming out of Newcastle all the way to South Shields is incredible and for those 50,000 people it’s a God send.”

And he has some special advice all the way from Tanzania for his monkey mascot running companion ahead of the big day.

He said: “When we were climbing Mount Kilimanjaro we got told ‘Pole, Pole’ which is a Swahili saying which means ‘Slowly, Slowly.

“I’m sure H’Angus will be very warm and find it tough going but if he takes it slowly and goes at a steady pace I’m sure he’ll be fine.”

People can sponsor H’Angus on his Virgin Giving page www.virginmoneygiving.com/HangusMonkey