A former England football captain joined children from a Rickmansworth school to launch this year’s Moor Park 10k and Junior Fun Runs event.

Paul Ince attended Rickmansworth Park JMI School, in Park Road, for the launch of the annual event.

The former Manchester United and Inter Milan midfielder said he anticipates that the popular fun run will attract many enthusiastic children.

He said: "I hope that as many children as possible will consider entering the Moor Park Junior Fun Runs this year, both to support the LJMC and also because it will be a fun experience.

"They will be able to represent their schools and, who knows, perhaps one day we’ll be seeing them represent our country."

The popular fundraising event is held every year at Merchant Taylors’ School to raise money for the Lynda Jackson Macmillan Centre (LJMC).

The centre, which is based at Mount Vernon Hospital, in Northwood, provides support to patients and families who have been affected by cancer.

This year’s event will take place on Sunday, September 28.

Ince has spent some time with the LJMC, learning about the work it does to help people affected by cancer.

Having seen first-hand how the centre supports people going through treatment, he was delighted to encourage local schoolchildren to enter the fundraising event.

Ince added: "I’ve been so impressed at the work of the Lynda Jackson Macmillan Centre. A diagnosis of cancer and subsequent treatment is clearly a stressful and anxious time, both for patients and also for those close to them.

"Seeing how things like relaxation classes and good quality information can help patients has been enlightening. The staff at the LJMC are so welcoming and put people at their ease, giving them time to talk and ask questions. It’s a phenomenal service."

A total of 35 children from Rickmansworth Park School took part in the Junior Fun Runs last year and organisers hope this enthusiasm will persist through to this year’s event.

Dawn Goldspring, the school’s head of PE, has been encouraging pupils to participate and said they hope to enter more children than any other school.

Ms Goldspring said: "The children really enjoyed themselves last year. There was a great family atmosphere and they had a really good time. They were all so proud to show off their medals at school the next day."

This is the thirteenth year that the Stewarts Law Moor Park 10k and Junior Fun Runs will take place.

Since the event was first organised in 2002, £435,000 has been raised for the LJMC’s services which include a drop-in centre, complementary therapies and counselling for patients and carers.

The 10k route is traffic-free, taking in Moor Park and Rickmansworth Golf Courses. The junior events are held within the confines of the school playing fields. Runners of all ages and speeds are welcome to take part.

Entry is now open and more information can be found at www.moorpark10k.org.uk or call 07779 458285.