Former Norwich City star Danny Mills pipped to Celebrity Masterchef title, while illness forces him to pull out of fundraising challenge in his son’s memory

Millions of television viewers saw former Norwich City footballer Danny Mills miss out on the title of Celebrity Mastermind tonight, but there was also a more personal disappointment for the former Canary.

The ex-Canary was due to embark on a fundraising challenge today in memory of his unborn son, who he lost to spina bifida a decade ago.

The former Sprowston High School pupil had been due to take part in the first Archie Mills Memorial Challenge this weekend.

Mr Mills and his wife Lisa lost Archie four months into pregnancy. They were told the baby had severe spina bifida, which meant he would not survive.

He became patron for the charity Shine, which supports more than 10,000 babies, children and adults living with spina bifida and hydrocephalus, and was due to cycle over 200 miles from Leeds to London and then complete the Olympic-Plus distance of the Virgin Active London Triathlon.


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But the 35-year-old has contracted gastroenteritis and doctors advised him not to take part in such an arduous challenge.

Mr Mills said: 'I'm devastated that due to contracting a serious stomach virus, and after seeking medical advice, I have been told not to compete in my challenge this weekend.

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'I know so many people have worked incredibly hard to make this happen and I feel so bad for letting them down.

'Nobody can feel as bad as I do right now. Six months gruelling training and no end result. Anyone that knows me well will know it's my worst nightmare. But after losing over half a stone in two days, attempting the challenge would be more than foolish.

'I can only thank everyone that has helped me up to now, the Shine Team, Evans Cycles, the media who have covered to story so well, and of course those of you who have donated so generously.

'With this in mind, if anyone feels that they would like their donation refunded then I will personally make sure this happens.

'However, I will be completing a revised version of the challenge as soon as I am fit and well again.'

Shine will still be present at the triathlon this weekend with 14 fundraisers taking part, including Team Shine – consisting of three staff members from the charity.

Television viewers last night saw the former England defender, who also played for Charlton, Leeds United, Middlesbrough, Manchester City and Derby, lose out to writer and actress Emma Kennedy in the Celebrity Masterchef final, which was recorded before Mr Mills contracted the illness which ruled him out of his fundraising challenge.

For further details on Shine, visit www.shinecharity.org.uk

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