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Thatcham man running memorial half-marathon for Newbury Cancer Care Trust

Run to be held on his 70th birthday

John Herring

John Herring


01635 886633

Thatcham man running memorial half-marathon for Newbury Cancer Care Trust

A THATCHAM man is set to run a half-marathon on his 70th birthday in memory of his late wife and to support the local charity who helped her in her final days. 

Josephine Hannington died in the Rainbow Rooms at the West Berkshire Community Hospital (WBCH) on Christmas Eve.

Her husband Malcolm will run the 13 miles on Monday for Newbury Cancer Care. 

He said: “I have so many people to thank, but this money is going to Newbury Cancer Care Trust who helped her at the end. 

“We have got a really good facility at our little hospital for cancer patients... it’s an amazing facility.”

Mr Hannington said that the treatment at WBCH meant that his wife did not need to travel to Oxford. 

Cancer treatment and operations have been postponed during the coronavirus pandemic and Mr Hannington said that he wanted to raise awareness for the people who had been forgotten.

He said: “I think why I’m doing this is all cancer sufferers have been forgotten a little bit.

“I know one person who was refused treatment and they have now passed away.

“Unfortunately you don’t hear about it.”

A member of Thatcham Tennis Club, Thatcham Table Tennis Club, a classic car enthusiast and 10-pin bowler, Mr Hannington’s fundraising memorial had also been impacted by the virus. 

“When I lost Josie I was lonely, although I had family and friends and my clubs to go to,” he said.

“So when lockdown came everything stopped.

“The only thing Boris [Johnson] said we could do was we were allowed to run, so I started doing a little bit.”

Mr Hannington said he had made a flippant comment to a family member about running a half-marathon and she said it was a great idea 

He said: “I thought ‘oh no the last time I ran a half-marathon was in 1986’, and so it went from there.”

Mr Hannington said his wife was an amazing woman who never complained about her cancer or treatment after being diagnosed 10 years ago.

Mr Hannington said the couple had been able to do a lot together in that time, including visiting family in Australia and holding her new grandson.

He said that in the weeks before her death, he had taken his wife into Thatcham to see the Christmas lights and to see Newbury’s lantern parade.

Mrs Hannington also attended a table tennis club meal six days before she died.

Mr Hannington said: “She could block out her illness.

“She was very strong, very independent.

“I just felt privileged to be well enough that I could take her to hospital appointments and take her places.” 

One of Mrs Hannington’s favourite places was the Thatcham lakes and Nature Discovery Centre.

A memorial bench has been installed by the lakes, which Mr Hannington will pass on his charity half-marathon. 

Unable to get a haircut in lockdown, Mr Hannington will don a 118 costume with Newbury Cancer Care on the back as he runs around the edge of Thatcham.

He said he felt a bit apprehensive and wanted to be fit enough to carry out the run.

Mr Hannington has raised £2,235, exceeding his £500 target, and donations can be made at   

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