This year’s Santa Fun Run for Princess Alice Hospice has been a blockbuster all round – with record numbers of entrants for the sell-out runs; plus guest appearance of AFC Wimbledon players to kick off the final run – with TV coverage spreading the word far and wide.

Seven of AFC Wimbledon’s top players – including captain Will Nightingale – joined 500 fun runners in Bushy Park last weekend, accompanied by a Sky Sports News film crew to capture the festive atmosphere. The item was included in bulletins in the afternoon and evening.

The players donned Santa suits and joined the warm-up, kicking off the first 100m of the course before dashing away for a club event.

First over the line on Sunday was Jonathan Monk, of Esher firm TY Danjuma, while first u16 runner was Minna Williams.

Beth Sadler, Partnerships Fundraiser for the Hospice said:

“This year has been the biggest – and best – so far.

“The turnout was remarkable; we had serious runners, families, teams of friends, teams of colleagues – lots of dogs and babies, too. It’s such a friendly, fun event and the weather has been kind to us throughout.

Sky Sports News reporter Jeremy Langdon

“It has become a tradition with so many runners and their families; we always look forward to seeing familiar faces in the throng – and of course, everyone who comes along to support the Hospice in caring for so many people across the area.

“We are confident our fantastic fundraisers will have broken a record for donations.

“Special thanks go to AFC Wimbledon for being good sports and enabling their players to come along today. It was a real boost for the event.”