Rugby league star's widow completes London marathon in his memory
The widow of a rugby league player took part in the London marathon to help find a cure for the disease that claimed her husband’s life.
Ann-Marie Barrow, 36, joined thousands of runners to pound the streets of the capital yesterday and raise money for Brain Tumour Research.
Her husband Tony Barrow followed in the footsteps of his father Tony Barrow Sr by becoming a professional rugby league player for Oldham RLFC and Swinton Lions RLFC.
But while working as a personal trainer and senior childcare worker at Nugent House School in Billinge in 2015, he was diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme.
The 45-year-old sportsman underwent surgery twice, along with receiving radiotherapy and chemotherapy, but he died less than two years later in March 2017, leaving Ann-Marie and daughters Megan and Lucy.
Ann-Marie, who lives in Windle, raised more than £7,100 by tackling the marathon in his honour.
She said: “Together with Tony’s friend Phil Green, I completed the marathon to raise vital funds for research and also to raise awareness of this devastating disease. I set myself a fund-raising target of £3,000 so I was amazed to have more than doubled this amount and I am very grateful to my family and friends who donated.
“I was very pleased with my time of five hours eight seconds and, importantly, to have raised awareness of this dreadful disease. Phil completed the route in 4:51:37. The marathon was an incredibly tough challenge but I was determined to cross the finish line for Tony and I was thinking about him every step of the way.
“Tony’s diagnosis was a devastating blow to us all and we were shocked that someone as fit and healthy as him could have such a poor prognosis. It was also dreadful to learn about the historic under-funding of research into the disease.”
Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer, yet historically just one per cent of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to this devastating disease.
Carol Robertson, head of community fund-raising for Brain Tumour Research in the North, said: “Thank you to Ann-Marie for sharing Tony’s story and helping to raise awareness of the fact that brain tumours are indiscriminate and can affect anyone at any age. We congratulate her and Phil for completing the London Marathon.”
To make a donation, go to www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Ann-Marie-Barrow-LM2019.