Five runners will complete the London marathon in aid of Wigan and Leigh Hospice

Five runners who have been waiting for 18 months or more to complete the London marathon will finally get their chance on Sunday.
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Jon Leggott, Ray Monk, Jacqui White, Ian Allen and Franco Spinelli will all take on the 26.2-mile challenge in aid of Wigan and Leigh Hospice.

Ray, 53, Jacqui, 45, Ian, 50, and Franco, 56, were all due to run the marathon in April last year, before the Covid-19 pandemic put an end to those plans.

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Jon, 35, from Goose Green, has been waiting even longer to run, as he was struck down by meningitis just before the 2019 race.

Jon Leggott has waited two years to run the London marathonJon Leggott has waited two years to run the London marathon
Jon Leggott has waited two years to run the London marathon

The dad-of-two contracted the deadly infection two weeks before he was due to run his seventh marathon.

Jon, a director for WN1 Lighting Solutions based at Wigan Investment Centre, had just returned from a visit to Disneyland Paris with his wife Kylie and two children, Amelie and Jacob, when he began to feel ill.

Jon and his dad Steven have supported the Hindley-based hospice since Jon’s grandmother Gwen Leggott received care 32 years ago.

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He said: “It feels a bit like unfinished business so I want to finally do the London marathon I trained for two years ago. With Covid-19 and losing my auntie Alison Evans on Boxing Day I also wanted to do something positive.”

Restaurant boss Franco SpinelliRestaurant boss Franco Spinelli
Restaurant boss Franco Spinelli

Franco, the owner of Franco’s restaurant in Wigan town centre, is taking part after securing a golden bond place through the hospice. This will be the first time the keen runner has done the London marathon.

He said: “There are a lot of charities but we have a lot of customers who mention Wigan and Leigh Hospice and I know there are lots of people who have been helped by the hospice.”

Jacqui used to work at the hospice and is running with her partner Ray. He said: “Most people run away from the subject of hospices. I couldn’t do what they do at the hospice so, instead, I’m running a marathon as my way of helping.”

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IT project manager Ian said: “I did the Manchester marathon a few years ago and have wanted to do London for quite some time. I know about the incredible work the hospice does and that gave me a real interest in doing something to raise money.”

Ray Monk and Jacqui WhiteRay Monk and Jacqui White
Ray Monk and Jacqui White

Wigan and Leigh Hospice gets five golden bond places for the London marathon every year. To register your interest in a place, email [email protected]

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