In memory of James: Friends running marathon across Shrewsbury for Samaritans

Four friends are completing a marathon around Shrewsbury this month in memory of their friend.

From left; Kev Renshaw, Tim Dyas, Joe Pengill and Ricky Evans
From left; Kev Renshaw, Tim Dyas, Joe Pengill and Ricky Evans

Kevin Renshaw, 30, Joe Pengilly, 30, Ricky Evans, 30, and Tim Dyas, 26, host a fundraiser every year for Shrewsbury Samaritans in memory of Kevin's brother James, who took his own life in 2011 aged 16.

The charity supported Kevin and his family through everything and they want further to help those affected by the pandemic.

Tim was James' best friend, and he and Kevin have themselves become friends over the years as the pair organise a football fundraising tournament each year in James' memory.

The four friends are running a marathon around Shrewsbury

They haven't been able to hold it for the past two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent restrictions, so the group are instead running a marathon round Shrewsbury, starting in the Quarry.

Kevin said: "My friends and I organise a five-a-side football tournament at the Power League next to Shrewsbury Town Football Club each year.

"About 100 people normally attend with friends and family playing and supporting.

James Renshaw

"The tournament is usually held in March/April time, so obviously last year that was when Covid hit and we entered lockdown so it had to be cancelled. I also had a daughter around that time last year so was pretty busy. But we still wanted to do something as it has been 10 years.

"However, when we knew we were heading into the third lockdown in January, it was looking like the tournament wouldn't be able to happen again. So we came up with the marathon idea."

The four friends love to play football together and Kevin said taking on the marathon will be a big challenge for them.

All set for their marathon run

"On previous fundraisers we've raised about £800 each time but this time we've already smashed our target and have reached about £2,500 now," he added.

"The marathon idea is great because we can run round our home town, past our friends and parents houses, we're looking forward to it.

"Shrewsbury Samaritans really helped our family through everything. Hopefully we can raise money to provide those services for others, especially after the pandemic when mental health is so important.

"Tim was my brother's best friend and we have since become close friends due to organising the football tournament each year. It's normally a great event as all our friends and family can get together. We did have it in our heads that the tenth one would be the last. But because we haven't been able to go ahead for the past two years we might squeeze another one in if we can."

  • If you have been affected by this article contact Samaritans on 116 123 or at samaritans.org

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