Ray Clemence’s grandson to complete running challenge in honour of goalkeeper
Jack Clemence hopes to remember his grandfather, while raising money and increasing awareness of prostate cancer.
The grandson of the late Liverpool goalkeeper Ray Clemence aims to run 26.2 miles across January “in honour of grandad” and to raise awareness of prostate cancer.
The former England international died in 2020 after living with prostate cancer for 15 years and now his grandson, Jack Clemence, hopes to raise money for Prostate Cancer UK while remembering his grandfather.
Mr Clemence, 18, said he did not hesitate to sign up for the Run the Month challenge – which sees participants run the length of a marathon within one month – so he could honour his grandfather, who he hopes would be “proud”.
“When I first heard about the Run the Month it was something I instantly thought, ‘I’ve got to do this in honour of grandad’,” the student, from Hertfordshire, told the PA news agency.
“He was a tireless campaigner for the charity and it is very close to us.
“I’d like to hope (my grandfather’s) overriding feeling would be proud. Hopefully, he’s looking down on me (feeling) proud from somewhere.”
Mr Clemence described the Run the Month as “a sign” after he registered for the challenge a day before the third anniversary of his grandfather’s death.
“It was the day before my grandad’s three-year anniversary of his passing, I came across (the challenge),” he said.
“It was almost a sign if anything. It was, like, now I’ve got to do this.”
Mr Clemence said he is glad to be fundraising again after his last event for the charity was in 2021 at the Football March walk, supported by former Sky Sports presenter Jeff Stelling.
“(Fundraising) within the last few years has been slightly at the back of our minds and it’s relit that flame and it’s made me hungry to keep doing these challenges over the next few years,” he explained.
“This Run the Month is my first dip into helping the charity myself, personally. It feels great and hopefully, I’m doing (grandad) proud.
Mr Clemence, who is undertaking a degree apprenticeship with Amazon, hopes to complete the challenge across the month aiming to achieve two 5km runs per week.
He plans to complete his first run of the month on New Year’s Day and hopes the challenge will improve his fitness all while raising money for charity.
He said: “On a personal note, I want to use (the run) to get my fitness back up, which will make it more challenging but all the more fun.”
He hopes the challenge will encourage others to take part in fundraising and help to increase awareness about prostate cancer.
“We’re all busy with our lives, not everyone wants to be running in January, but I want to plead to as many people as possible to get involved,” Mr Clemence said.
“It’s not even about getting the marathon done across the month – it’s about raising the money, raising the awareness. The money is going to a great cause.
“If we can get as many people to get checked out as soon as possible, spot the symptoms as soon as possible, we can save plenty of lives.
“We’ve all got men around us and if it’s affecting one in eight men, there’s a good chance that it will affect one of us one day.”
Participants taking on Prostate Cancer UK’s Run the Month: Marathon Edition challenge can run, jog, walk or cycle throughout January.