Ex-Bradford on Avon footballer aims to beat pain barrier in memory of dad

Wiltshire Times: Craig Guthrie is running the Bath Half-Marathon next month for the RUH’s Forever Friends appeal Craig Guthrie is running the Bath Half-Marathon next month for the RUH’s Forever Friends appeal

Former Bradford Town footballer Craig Guthrie will be fighting through the pain barrier to complete the Bath Half in memory of his late father next month.

The 33-year-old plumber suffered a knee injury two years ago which saw him temporarily give up playing, but that hasn’t stopped him entering the race.

He hopes to raise funds in tribute to his father Robert, who died aged 60 of throat cancer last year – on the day after Craig’s wedding to girlfriend Victoria.

Mr Guthrie, 33, said: “Dad was too weak to come to the wedding, and in the morning he was taken to hospital.

“I had a phone call during the course of the meal and they said to come to say goodbye, so I left the wedding and went to see him.

“I went to speak to him and said what I could. He couldn’t reply, but he wanted me to go back and enjoy the rest of the day. The next day I went back to the RUH and he passed away.”

He is now hoping to raise £400 for the RUH’s Forever Friends appeal for the new cancer unit.

“It was what my dad wanted,” he said. “He had been treated there, and the work they do is really special.”

He started training in October, after recovering from a ruptured posterior cruciate ligament, and is now back playing for Freshford United.

He said: “Training has been slow going, but my knee is slowly improving.

“Lots of people who knew dad have promised to support me.

“He was so well-known in Bradford, at the crematorium people couldn’t sit down it was so busy, which was such a tribute.”

Robert Guthrie had worked primarily in pubs in Bradford. He ran the Three Horseshoes and The Bear, and also worked in The Grapes before he died. He also worked on market stalls, and was a regular at The Plough on Trowbridge Road.

Mr Guthrie senior had two stepsons, Neil and Lee Smith, and his wife, Craig’s stepmum, Geraldine Guthrie.

Craig lives in Melksham with his wife Victoria, but he comes from Bradford.

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