Family start event in honour of teenage son

Web ian roy, nicola roy and helen laird

Race for Life events took place at the weekend

20th September 2017 by Gareth Jones 0 Comments

A heartbroken mum paid an emotional tribute to her gifted footballer son who died from cancer last year as thousands of participants got pretty muddy to help beat cancer.

Helen Laird was the VIP starter for the Race for Life 5K at the mud splattered obstacle course at Bellahouston Park in Glasgow on Saturday (16 September).

Helen set off a pink army of more than 4,474 people of all ages, shapes and sizes on obstacles including an inflatable mud slide and scramble net.

And in Edinburgh on Saturday at the Royal Highland Centre, Islington, 1,932 women took part in Pretty Muddy – all to raise vital funds for Cancer Research UK.

Helen, 49, and her partner Ian, 54, of Paisley were invited to attend Pretty Muddy Glasgow in memory of their son, Stephen Roy. Stephen was a promising footballer with the Glenvale under 19 team but died from cancer in July of last year. 

Stephen's sister, Nicola, 23, raised more than £1,000 by completing the 5K Pretty Muddy course together with her friend Sarah McCrimmon, 18.

"We loved Stephen more than words can say,” said Helen.

"Stephen was a loving son and an amazing brother to Nicola. We feel honoured to launch Pretty Muddy in his memory. It's so important to keep Stephen's memory alive. Football meant the world to Stephen and as he grew up we travelled the country going to games.

“Stephen was only 18 when he died. All through cancer treatment he was making plans for the future."

Stephen was diagnosed with bowel cancer in August 2015 and returned to training with his football club after enduring surgery to remove the tumour and chemotherapy.

But in March 2016 he had a cardiac arrest while coaching youngsters at the Harmony Row playing fields near Braehead.

After fighting back to fitness, Stephen learned in May last year that the cancer had returned and spread to his liver. He died just weeks later.

Cancer Research UK's Race for Life is a series of 5k, 10k, Pretty Muddy and marathon events which raises millions of pounds every year to help fund life-saving research.