Rugby clubs have many great characters and only yesterday I attended a funeral of a former player, manager, junior coach and referee. He was a year younger than me and he left a grieving wife and two fine young rugby playing sons.

I know I’m stating the obvious, but cancer is such a truly awful disease – and during the service at the Crematorium – I remembered my own feelings when I lost my Dad to Cancer. He’d had a good life, but I couldn’t help feeling cheated that he’d never see my kids grow up. He’d miss the nativity plays, the Christmas mornings, the birthday parties and the boys rugby matches.

In November 2016, my wife was diagnosed with breast cancer in both her breasts. It was devastating news for both me and the family. Following her operation a few weeks later, she underwent extensive radio therapy and happily the treatment was a success. The NHS were fantastic, but five, ten, fifteen years ago, the same treatments were not available, however constant improvements in diagnosis, prevention and treatments are helping fight cancer.

I spent this morning at the Physio’s as I’ve a 2 to 4cm tear on my Soleus muscle, done whilst training on holiday. It makes running really painful and as the Physio told me this morning under normal circumstances he recommends I shouldn’t run, but we both knew that was never an option. So, this Sunday, I’ll strap up the calf and take my place in the Great North Half Marathon – running for Worldwide Cancer Research. There will be no PB I’m afraid, completing the course and raising a little cash to fight the big C is purely my focus.

If you’d like to donate go to my just giving page –