RUGBY league stars hit upon the perfect way to release some of their pent-up lockdown energy - by pounding the streets for two great causes.

Leigh Centurions full-back Gregg McNally has been involved with fundraisers for wife Rosey, who was diagnosed with a rare bone condition aged 27, for some time.

Her appeal, Two Hips, One Knee, has teamed up regularly with Action for Alfie, the charity set up by the parents of youngster Alfie Sales, who has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

Rosey has avascular necrosis, involving a loss of blood to the bones, which began in her legs and later spread.

One of their joint events - dubbed Leighnix Nights - had to be cancelled in May because of the coronavirus crisis.

This led to 29-year-old Gregg getting his thinking cap on and - with the help of team-mate - launching a gruelling running challenge around the town.

Gregg said: “During lockdown I’ve had a lot of time to think of new ideas for fundraisers as we have all had a little extra time on our hands.

“Obviously it’s been very hard times for everyone over the last three or four months with the ongoing pandemic.

“I’ve been racking my brains about how we can fundraise and raise money whilst sticking to the Government guidelines and socially distancing.

“Large gatherings won’t be allowed to happen for a while so that was out of the question.

"Numerous other things I came up with weren’t practical. So I decided to to do a sponsored run.”

And so since noon on Friday, Gregg and Martyn, and associated Leigh players, past and present, have been completing four-mile runs in four-hourly cycles.

Their aim has been to keep on hitting the streets for 72 hours - or 18 punishing dashes. A local firm, ADS Marquees, pitched in to sponsor t-shirts for the intrepid pair.

Rest and recuperation has been essential throughout the legs, some of which have taken the crew around picturesque Pennington Flash, the scene of the start of the Bolton Ironman in previous years.

Fellow and former players and coaches including Neil Turley, Kieron Purtill and Bob Beswick have joined them on various legs.

Brothers Josh and Ben Woods completed a 24-hour stint, involving six back-to-back runs, with Martyn and Gregg, whose son Harry and daughter Bella have been ensuring dad has been pampered between times. .

Later in the year the charities hope to restage Leighnix Nights, if social distancing will allow.

As the Bolton News went to press the runners had nearly doubled a revised £1,500 target but supporters can still pledge their back online at