THE SON-in-law of a man who died from liver cancer just days after a charity walk in his honour said he was “proud” of his supporters’ efforts.
Lee Pickering led a team of relatives and friends in an overnight trek between South Yorkshire football grounds in the name of Pete James, who was diagnosed last June.
Pete (66) died at home in Brinsworth last Thursday morning with his family alongside him.
Lee said: “He was so proud of what we did, and was over the moon that the walk raised so much money to help children in need.”
Six days earlier, Pete’s family and friends - plus Buster the Dog - braved chilly conditions and blisters to complete their walk from Rotherham to Hillsborough in Sheffield and raised £5,200 for Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice.
They left New York Stadium on the night of December 16, and were in Sheffield in time for the derby against Sheffield Wednesday by 3pm the
following day — having dropped by the grounds of Doncaster Rovers, Barnsley and Sheffield United.
Lee said the group completed their 50-mile trek in 19 hours.
He added: “It was emotional and one of the hardest things we’ve ever done - the majority of us literally couldn’t walk the next day - but it’s also been one of the proudest things we’ve ever done.
“We had a solid team right from the start - set up and run brilliantly by Pete’s daughter Sarah.
“The generosity that we’ve seen from people over the two days of the walk was amazing and made us feel so proud.
“We’ve raised just over £5,900 for Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice, which is over double our target.”
Lee said the walk had been inspired by Pete’s positive outlook after his diagnosis.
He added: “The walk was a real focus for Pete and was the thing that kept him going over the last few months of his life.
“He made it to the start and finish line even though he was really poorly.
“Pete said that proud was not a big enough word for what we'd achieved.”
Pete’s funeral will be held next Thursday, January 5, at 1.45pm at City Road Crematorium, Sheffield.
The family has asked for donations in lieu of flowers to Bluebell Wood.
q You can donate to the team’s fund-raising page at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/peteswalkfootballclubsofsouthyorkshire.