Husband spearheads £5,000 fundraiser - just months after wife’s death

Tommy and family with staff at Alice House Hospice.
Tommy and family with staff at Alice House Hospice.
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A tireless fundraiser has raised more than £5,000 in a charity drive - less than six months after his wife died of cancer.

Tommy Miller organises an annual walk in Castle Eden Dene and it is always supported by dozens of people including football stars.

The volunteers are ready for the off at the start of the Kath Miller Memorial Walk.

The volunteers are ready for the off at the start of the Kath Miller Memorial Walk.

But this year’s walk had extra significance as it came just months after the death of his wife Kath who passed away at Alice House Hospice in Hartlepool last November.

And when the total was added to that raised in previous years, it meant Tommy’s efforts had amassed more than £17,000 in six years.

Janice Forbes, Community Fundraiser at the hospice, said: “Tommy works tirelessly each year to organise the walk and ensure its success. This year was particularly poignant, with the event being renamed in memory of Tommy’s wife Kath, who sadly passed away in the Hospice last November.

“It was testament to how loved Kath was to see such a large turnout in tribute. Tommy is a real pleasure to work with and the warmth and dedication he shows towards the hospice is remarkable.

It was testament to how loved Kath was to see such a large turnout in tribute. Tommy is a real pleasure to work with and the warmth and dedication he shows towards the hospice is remarkable.

Janice Forbes, community fundraiser from Alice House Hospice

“The £5,310 he has raised this year is a tremendous success and a wonderful legacy for Kath. This money will be used to care for future patients and families that are affected by incurable illnesses.”

Kath was 67 when she passed away. She and Tommy were married for 38 years and had been together for 42 years. Kath was mum to Mandy and to Tommy’s son, also Tommy, who is a former Hartlepool United star.

Kath was first diagnosed with a brain tumour in April 2015 and had an operation as well as chemotherapy before an MRI scan in June last year showed she was clear of any signs of cancer.

But the cancer returned and Kath passed away on November 11, last year, at Alice House Hospice.

This year’s efforts included the proceeds from the walk, money donated in lieu of flowers at the funeral, and a fundraising night at the King Oswy Club in Hartlepool. It was organised by Bev Playfor who worked at the hospice with Kath.

Tommy admitted this year’s campaign had been “tough” but he praised everyone who supported him including LWC Brewry, Spennymoor United and the office staff at Hartlepool United who carried out a collection.

Tommy praised them as “absolutely superb.”

This year’s event was known as the Kath Miller Memorial Walk and attracted sponsorship from Natural England, Tracey and Peter Webster at the Hearts of Oak in Peterlee, and Liam Dinine of Box Clever in Horden.

It saw walkers tackle a route through Castle Eden Dene which started from the Hearts of Oak pub in Peterlee.