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United in love: Footy fan’s charity stadium run in memory of brother-in-law from Wisbech



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The memory of a well-loved husband and father has inspired a gruelling charity challenge completed over the Easter weekend and raising over £6,000.

It started as a simple idea to have a football shirt loved by thirty-one-year-old Jamie Robinson, who died in February last year from Covid, signed by the players of his favourite team Manchester United as a special momento for his family.

But from there it spiralled into a major fundraising challenge undertaken by his brother-in-law Mark Laws, brother of Jamie's widow Tori.

Mark Laws who is walking from Carrow RD Norwich to Old Trafford in Manchester. In memory of his late brother-in-law Jamie Robinson 31 who died of Covid..With family and friends before the start of the third leg from Wisbech to Swineshead. (56136047)
Mark Laws who is walking from Carrow RD Norwich to Old Trafford in Manchester. In memory of his late brother-in-law Jamie Robinson 31 who died of Covid..With family and friends before the start of the third leg from Wisbech to Swineshead. (56136047)

When Jamie died at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital he had been battling the illness since January and had sadly developed a problem with his heart and lungs. He left behind not only Tori but his six-year-old son Archie and stepson Finnley (13).

After his death Mark, who runs Fitness Future, intended to use his links with professional football to get one of Jamie's shirts signed by the United team and have it framed for Tori and the boys.

"He had a number of football shirts that he practically lived in, so it would have been a bit worn, but it would have been something special for them to keep," explained Mark, but from there the idea just grew until it resulted in Mark completing a run from Carrow Road, home of Norwich City to Old Trafford home to United - a total of 201 miles - carrying one of Jamie's old shirts.

Mark Laws who is walking / running from Carrow RD Norwich to Old Trafford in Manchester. In memory of his late brother-in-law Jamie Robinson 31 who died of Covid..Mark Laws with Jamie's son Archie Robinson... (56136050)
Mark Laws who is walking / running from Carrow RD Norwich to Old Trafford in Manchester. In memory of his late brother-in-law Jamie Robinson 31 who died of Covid..Mark Laws with Jamie's son Archie Robinson... (56136050)

Mark explained the pair regularly went to watch Mark's team Norwich play together although Jamie, who was manager of Howdens Kitchens in Wisbech, was a life-long United supporter.

"Some how it just turned into this big fundraising event and it just seemed fitting to complete the challenge running between the two clubs, who have both been very supportive," said Mark, who lives in Doddington.

It took Mark a week to complete the run - although it did also involve some walking and even on one day limping - having started on Saturday April 9 at Carrow Road and finishing at Old Trafford on Saturday (16) where he and his family: wife Natasha, daughters Mollie (two and a half) and 10-month -old Frankie, together with Tori and the boys were treated to an executive box to watch Manchester play Norwich.

Jamie Robinson died following a battle with Covid-19 last February leaving behind his wife Tori, and boys Archie and Finnley. (56136028)
Jamie Robinson died following a battle with Covid-19 last February leaving behind his wife Tori, and boys Archie and Finnley. (56136028)

En-route he took a slight detour to meet up with Tori and the boys in Wisbech.

Mark said: "The first few days I was able to run all day, but then the next couple I had to walk and there was one day when I wasn't sure I was going to make it as I was limping. But then the adrenalin kicked in and it got easier and I was able to do a bit of running and walking to the finish."

Over £6,000 has so far been raised which is being shared equally between six carefully chosen charities: The Norfolk and Norwich Hospital, Widowed and Young, Winston's Wish, Miles4Meals, plus the Norwich City and Manchester United Community Foundations.

Jamie at the start of his run pictured at Carrow Road ahead of the match between Norwich and Burnley. (56136133)
Jamie at the start of his run pictured at Carrow Road ahead of the match between Norwich and Burnley. (56136133)

It is not too late to donate and for every £10 (up until May 1) you will get one raffle ticket with a chance to win a prize some of which Mark says are worth hundreds, others worth thousands, and some priceless.

You can donate here.

Mark Laws pictured at Old Trafford having completed a 201 mile run from Carrow Road. (56136142)
Mark Laws pictured at Old Trafford having completed a 201 mile run from Carrow Road. (56136142)
Mark Laws who is walking from Carrow RD Norwich to Old Trafford in Manchester. In memory of his late brother-in-law Jamie Robinson 31 who died of Covid..... (56136054)
Mark Laws who is walking from Carrow RD Norwich to Old Trafford in Manchester. In memory of his late brother-in-law Jamie Robinson 31 who died of Covid..... (56136054)
Mark Laws pictured at Old Trafford having completed a 201 mile run from Carrow Road. (56136139)
Mark Laws pictured at Old Trafford having completed a 201 mile run from Carrow Road. (56136139)


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