Louth man’s marathon charity crusade has got the backing of film star Warwick Davis

Marathon man Richard Bannister (centre) is running the London Marathon this year for Little People UK, a charity founded by Samantha and Warwick Davis. Pictured with their son Harrison (right) and top, Richards wife Lisa, their son Joseph and Sams sister Susanne.

Marathon man Richard Bannister (centre) is running the London Marathon this year for Little People UK, a charity founded by Samantha and Warwick Davis. Pictured with their son Harrison (right) and top, Richards wife Lisa, their son Joseph and Sams sister Susanne.

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He wasn’t casting any spells - or making sure the force was with him - but TV and film star Warwick Davis had a special reason to visit Louth on Monday.

Louth is the home town of his wife Samantha and Mr Davis, best known for his roles in the Harry Potter franchise and Star Wars films, was in town to help local resident Richard Bannister launch a bid to raise money for charity.

Mr Bannister, 44, will compete in the London Marathon to raise funds for the charity founded by Mr and Mrs Davis - ‘Little People UK’ (LPUK).

The charity, which marked its fourth anniversary last week, was set up to provide support and information about dwarfism.

Mrs Davis, who moved to Louth when she was five, attended Lacey Gardens Primary School and Monks’ Dyke Technology College where she said she had ‘some of the 
best memories of her life’.

It was during her school days that she met Mr Bannister, and the pair have kept in touch ever since thanks 
to the help of social media.

Mrs Davis said: “I am really honoured Richard is raising funds for our charity and it will be a first for someone to run the London Marathon for this cause. Myself and Warwick have been very lucky in our lives but there are so many little people out there who need help. They easily feel vulnerable and isolated.”

Her famous husband said he supported several charities but confirmed LPUK meant the most to him.

He added: “I co-founded the charity with Sam just over four years ago and it’s great that Richard is running 
the marathon.”

Mr Bannister, a firefighter, will be taking part in the marathon for a second time.

Overall, it will be his ninth and final marathon and he hopes to hang up his 
running shoes in style.

He said: “I have seen things Sam has been up to on Facebook,but it wasn’t until I saw that she was one of the final three for the award of Most Inspirational Woman of the Year in 2014 that I realised she co-founded the charity.

“It is the only charity I wanted to run for this year and I am hoping to raise at least £2,000. Sam is an inspiration and I want to help them continue their amazing work. I must also thank Amanda McMullan at Massage For All for her continued support.”

And what does Mr Davis think of Louth? He said: “It’s a great town and 
there’s nowhere like it.”

• Sponsorship forms and donations will be accepted at the Eastgate-based Susanne’s Hair Salon which is owned by Mrs Davis’ sister. Also, visit: www.justgiving.com/Richard. 
Bannister-2016. For details on the charity: 
www.littlepeopleuk.org.