A blind runner from West Kirby has encouraged young people to start athletics, saying that no one should be excluded in the sport.

Ben Darby has been a member of the Run In Wirral group since 2011 and is a keen runner.

He said: “I tend to run pretty much every day, a variation in distance and I come to the gym twice a week and try to get to a spinning class if I can. I also occasionally play football.

“I am competitive and I’ve got guides of all different paces. On Sunday I did a half marathon and my guide was slower than me, but he wanted a personal best so that was our aim, which we got by around a minute. It felt great to have that chance to push him and give something back to people.”

The 42-year-old has volunteered at Arrowe Park Hospital’s Fracture Clinic for six years.“I volunteer at the local hospital twice a week and it’s 8.30-4.30 so I get home around 5pm. I then try and get a short run in after that because I don’t like to run in the dark and tend to run with my brother on those days.”

He pointed out there is always a place for people to fit in and urged young people to get involved in athletics. “Don’t get put off if you’re slower than others because you will always fit in somewhere.

“Running is for everyone as far as I’m concerned there’s no exclusion. It doesn’t matter if it takes you six hours to run a marathon. That just shows you’ve got determination to continue for that long.”