When John Candy took his Jamaican bobsleigh team to the 1988 Olympics in Cool Runnings, he at least had some spare time to devote to it.

There is no such luxury for athletics guru Andy Hobdell, who has to fit his coaching in around full-time work as a criminal solicitor for south-east firm Lawtons.

The 49-year-old, who is often sighted at St Albans Magistrates’ Court, has two athletes under his wing who are flying to Rio to compete for Ireland in the marathon.

Paul Pollock and Kevin Seaward both have good chances of a top 20 finish – and they will have their coach cheering from the sidelines after Lawtons helped to fund Hobdell’s trip to Brazil.

So how does life as a lawyer compare to the rigours of coaching international athletes?

‘I’m very lucky to have such a supportive firm around me, but sometimes the two worlds collide,’ he said. ‘I have been riding round a track in Bushy Park coaching the runners when my phone has rung to say two clients have been picked up for murder. I told the athletes I might have to go.’