The grandson of one of Peterborough United’s FA Cup quarter-finalists is to run the London Marathon in his memory.
Aidan Cooper (24) will hit the streets of the capital on April 28 to raise money for the Dementia Revolution after his grandad Ron spent his final years battling the condition.
Ron was right-back in the Posh side that beat Arsenal at London Road on their way to a quarter-final defeat against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in 1965. He died at The Cedars Care Home in Bourne on April 13 last year aged 79.
Aidan from Whittlesey said: “Hopefully Posh fans who have been supporting the club for many years will remember my grandad from his days at London Road. But, unfortunately he went from a hard-hitting defender to spending the last nine years of his life suffering with this cruel disease, the effects of which are heartbreaking.
“Dementia is a huge drain on society which needs to be addressed due to the ageing nature of our population, so I am not only running in grandad’s memory but also in order to stop individuals and families from suffering the same devastating effects that this illness currently leaves.”
Ron made 12 Midland League appearances for Posh between 1958 and 1960 before making his Football League debut in the 1963-64 season.
He went on to make 150 first-team appearances, scoring once.
The Dementia Revolution is a special one-year campaign from Alzheimer’s Society and Alzheimer’s Research UK to power groundbreaking dementia research.
There is greater awareness now of the potential link between heading a football and dementia, and Aidan said he would like to see more research in this area.
Asked whether Ron’s career was the cause of his dementia, Aidan replied: “We did think of it as an issue, but there’s nothing to confirm that this was the cause.”
To sponsor Aidan, visit: https://virginmoneygiving.com/AidanCooper.
Also running the marathon for the Dementia Revolution is Stephen Graves, the former chief executive of the trust which runs Peterborough City Hospital. His dad and father-in-law both suffered from the condition.
And Julie Tebb, informatics training and support officer at the city hospital, is taking on the 26.2 mile run to raise money for Hypopara UK – a charity which funds research into parathyroid conditions.
Julie was diagnosed with Primary Hyperparathyroid in early 2018 which causes, among other symptoms, tiredness, anxiety and memory issues. She had surgery to correct it in October.
To sponsor Stephen, visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/stephen-graves-marathon.
To sponsor Julie, visit: https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/julietebb1.