A BLAENAVON footballer and coach who spent almost a month in hospital last year with sepsis has raised more than £4,000 to help combat the condition.

Steve White, 48, completed a 17-mile run from Cwmbran to Blaenavon, stopping off to do a lap of the pitch at 11 football grounds along the way.

Mr White was hospitalised for four-and-a-half weeks in July last year, after he tore a muscle in his neck while training in the gym, which formed an abscess and then developed into sepsis.


In a remarkable recovery, he returned to light training in October, and was back on the pitch as soon as January.

It was then, he said, that he decided he wanted to give something back to the UK Sepsis Trust.

“My life was turned upside down in a flash and I was so scared,” he said.

“I had never been ill - always active, playing football and going to the gym. And now I was laid in hospital, so weak and frightened. I lost more than two stone in 10 days.

“I had a few final scans in January. They said everything was looking good.

“I decided then that I would like to give something back, as there is a few people in Blaenavon who have been affected by sepsis.”

South Wales Argus:

Steve White after he was discharged from hospital after recovering from sepsis last year. Picture: Steve White.

Mr White had planned to complete the challenge in April, but it was pushed back because of the coronavirus.

“I trained every single day through the lockdown and I’m the fittest I’ve ever been now at 48,” he said.

He set out from Coed Eva in Cwmbran, meeting up with players from the Blaenavon Blues under-nines team, which he coaches, at each ground and running a lap of the pitch with them, before finishing up at Blaenavon Blues’ Memorial Ground.

His wife Rhian completed the final leg of the journey with him from Fairfield in Talywain to Blaenavon. The couple’s oldest son Dominic, 22, also completed nine miles, while youngest son Louie, eight, ran all the laps of the pitches with his dad.

South Wales Argus:

Steve White completed a lap of each pitch helped by his Blaenavon Blues under-nines side which he coaches. Picture: Steve White.

Mr White’s father, Stephen, was also hospitalised with sepsis two years ago. He recovered, and was hoping to walk the final lap of the run, however, he died before the rearranged date.

“It’s been a hard year, that's for sure,” said Mr White.

“But if I can get some awareness out there about this horrible disease, and contribute something to the research, it might just help someone one day.

“It was great to raise that amount of money, but the main thing is to raise awareness of sepsis.

“The quicker you react, the more chance you have of surviving.

“You don’t realise the effect it has on you mentally. I had a numbness in my arms and legs and thought I was going to be paralysed. I didn’t know that was something that can happen post-sepsis.”

Mayor of Blaenavon Cllr Alan Jones and deputy mayor Liam Cowles greeted Mr White when he reached Blaenavon Blues and presented him with a cheque for £250 on behalf of the town council.

Cllr Jones said: “Sepsis is a cruel disease, and Steve was lucky to survive it. He’s a brave and caring man, and this tough challenge - which he looks to have completed with ease – has done much to highlight the dangers of Sepsis.

“I was delighted to present him with the council’s contribution and I wish him all the best for continued good health and happiness.”