Although he is forever with me, and is always in my heart, at this time of the year, when the nights grow longer and the sun is shining, my thoughts of Gareth strengthen and deepen.
This was the time of the year I would often take my first business trips to London, and, when he was at King’s I would catch up with him after meetings to hear his latest news; his opinion of the Government of the day (oh, I would love to hear his views on ‘Partygate’) and the state of English cricket, plus many, many other topics of the day!! It would be at this time that we would plan our spring/summer itinerary – the last few rugby/soccer matches and the forthcoming Test matches and T20s.
This year, a spring trip with his brother, Rhys, to the capital to watch Harlequins v Leicester at the Stoop in Twickenham together with a visit to the Imperial War Museum was not quite the same; we didn’t have our London tour guide to point us to the best pubs, the best tube connections, and the most extortionate restaurants on the planet, never mind the capital – and that was usually just breakfast!!!
It is hard to believe that it is just over 3.5 years since he left us - I still expect him to walk through the door with a rugby ball under his arm wearing his far too tight white England shirt.
As he would have wished, we have continued his Chemotionally-Unstable fundraising efforts for Cancer Research but over the past few years Covid has taken a major toll on them and many other charities so, in 2022, we want to do him proud and get his Just Giving page past the £200,000 mark.
BUT we can only do this with your continued help.
Your generous fundraising efforts and donations over the past few years have now got us past £165,000 (with Gift Aid). So, if you would like to fundraise or would like fundraising ideas, please contact myself, April or Rhys; over the years you have taken part in tough mudders, marathons, half marathons, 10ks, swimming events, football matches in the UK and worldwide as well as organising cake sales, coffee mornings and the odd quiz (to name but a few.) As well as being a great way to fundraise, these events allow more people to learn about Gareth and Cancer Research and the amazing legacy he has left behind.
The first event in the 2022 calendar was the third annual Cookridge Community 10k, a trail run around Golden Acre Park in north Leeds and a Fun Run which took place on Sunday 22 May – the route of the race follows in the footsteps of Gareth himself who used this route when training for the British Paralympic Tokyo squad and the 2018 London Marathon. This year’s event was started by local CBeebies presenter, George Webster, who also ran the 10k himself. The event was a sell-out with 400 runners taking part in the 10k and 150 children and parents running the one-mile Fun Run, many in fancy dress – early indications suggest we may have raised over £10,000 for Cancer Research UK and local charities.
But we are still asking all participants (and supporters) to go that extra mile, and each gain a little extra sponsorship that will nudge us a little closer to our £200,000 target.
Go to www.cookridgecommunityrun.co.uk for more information and pictures from the run and if you would like to make a donation go to www.justgiving.com/fundraising/chemotionally-unstable
“I loved the boy with the utmost love of which my soul is capable, and he is taken from me – yet in the agony of my spirit in surrendering such a treasure, I feel a thousand times richer than if I had never possessed it” William Wordsworth.