Norwich City Football Club are delighted to welcome Dudley Garner as our Community Hero for Saturday's Sky Bet Championship game against Preston North End.
Dudley recently won a national award from England Athletics for helping others in the community after he suffered a brain injury.
He was hit by a car when walking home in Norwich eight years ago and suffered a fractured skull, smashed eye socket, damaged sinuses and a hairline fracture to his neck.
He was then diagnosed with Diffuse Axonal Injury (DAI) which is one of the most common and devastating types of traumatic brain injury.
"After the accident I found it hard to come to terms with my brain injury,", Dudley told canaries.co.uk.
"While on the outside I look the same, my brain injury has made me a different person."
His injury resulted in permanent damage, the effects of which include depression, mood swings, forgetfulness, and anxiety.
Dudley’s wife Cat brought home a pair of running shoes to try and encourage him to take control and he has never looked back.
Since then, Dudley has completed four marathons and has raised over £10,000 for the Headway Norfolk & Waveney charity.
"Headway is a charity which assists people who suffer or are affected by brain injury like me so it’s very close to my heart," he explained.
"I want to help other people in a similar situation who maybe haven’t got the family or support. Running has made a huge difference to my mental and physical health and I want to help provide that opportunity for others."
Over the past year he has also been helping others lead a more active life as a run leader, in charge of an Up The Tempo Couch To 5k running group, which takes place at Eaton Park.
At the England Athletics award night, Dudley won the ‘Run Together Leader of the Year’ for his incredible work in the community and was presented with the award by Olympic runner Donna Fraser.
"The evening itself was incredible with numerous stories of incredible people doing incredible things and I felt very overwhelmed and completely out of place being there," he added.
"For me, the award came as a total shock but also a massive confidence boost that people are benefiting from what I'm doing."
For more information on how to get involved in the Run group Up The Tempo, visit https://groups.runtogether.co.uk/UpTheTempo
Please give a big Carrow Road to Dudley on Saturday as he brings out the matchball ahead of our game against Preston North End.
At every Sky Bet Championship home match, Norwich City will invite a deserving community-minded individual(s) to be their ‘Community Hero’ and place the matchball onto a special plinth prior to kick-off.
Whether the individual works in the emergency services or the armed forces, is a carer or charity champion, a super fan or a regional sporting hero, the initiative celebrates their contribution to the local community.
If there is anyone you think deserves special recognition for their community efforts or personal achievements, please contact the Club via firstname.lastname@example.org