Community Champions

Entrepreneur to run half marathon in memory of father

Written by Peter Davison.

John WilliamsThe co-founder of a Chippenham-based heating and plumbing company has been pounding the streets over the summer training for the the town's half marathon in memory of his father.

Steve Williams, well known and loved in the town, passed away suddenly in December 2017 due to heart failure at the age of 75.

John Williams, of John Williams Heating Services, said: “Losing my dad so suddenly and so unexpectedly was devastating for me, my mum, my wife, my children – everyone in our family. Anyone who has lost someone suddenly will know how your life is blown apart by such a loss. As time has gone by I’ve felt that doing something in his memory is a positive acknowledgement of the love we all have for him.”

With the support of his wife Debbie, mum Pauline and his daughters Georgina and Katie, John pledged to raise at least £500 for the British Heart Foundation by taking part in the event, which takes place this Sunday (September 9). He’s already reached more than £1,000.

Not only is John taking part in the half marathon – which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year – his company is also one of the event’s three main sponsors.

This year though John is on a more personal mission to honour his father’s life.

“Cardiovascular disease, or CVD, is a huge issue in our society causing more than a quarter of all UK deaths (26 per cent). One person dies every three minutes with CVD,” John said.

“It’s easy to spout figures like this – however it hurts deeply when your own loved one is one of those people behind the statistics. Just £24 pays for two hours’ research into the causes of heart disease.

"The British Heart Foundation has worked tirelessly to reduce these big numbers (and there has been a large reduction) yet more research and education is needed to support early diagnosis and help people live with healthy hearts.”

For anyone who wishes to make a donation, John's JustGiving page is at