Craig treads familiar path in tribute to dad

September 01 2014

A BOXING coach has followed in the footsteps of his late father after taking on the same 60-mile charity walk he travelled 37 years ago.

craig turner

A BOXING coach has followed in the footsteps of his late father after taking on the same 60-mile charity walk he travelled 37 years ago.

In 1977 Keith Turner walked from Bristol to Weymouth to raise money for Kingswood Salvation Army centenary celebrations.

Now, seven months after Keith’s death, his son Craig has followed the same trail, this time to raise money for the charity Diabetes UK.

The walk, which took place last weekend, was held in memory of Keith who died earlier this year after suffering from type 2 diabetes, an illness which can lead to major health complications including kidney and heart disease.

Keith, a self-employed Staple Hill businessman, married Marlene in 1962, and had two children, Craig, now 42, and Gary, now 48. The family lived in Soundwell, moving to Downend 12 years ago.

Keith was 71 when he died in January. His death was caused by health problems arising from type 2 diabetes.

Craig, a former policeman and coach at Downend  Amateur Boxing Club, was joined by fellow coaches and boxers, when he set off on the walk last Friday. The team, which hopes to raise £1,000, stopped overnight in Shepton Mallet before walking on through Dorset, where they spent Saturday evening and into Weymouth on Sunday.

“Around 400,000 people lose their lives every year to diabetes,” Craig said.

“Dad was a former Gloucestershire County Cricket Club player back in the ‘60s. He was superbly fit and never smoked or drank. People assume diabetes affects people who are obese and people who abuse themselves and this is not the case. This incorrect public perception needs to be addressed and if we can possibly raise awareness to prevent, as well as educate, that would be brilliant.”

Craig, whose brother also has type 2 diabetes, paid tribute to his father and the courage he showed when facing his illness.

“Dad was relentless in his beliefs. If he thought something was right he would pursue it to the end. He was a great character and had immense determination.

“He was actually the first secretary of Downend Boxing Club and did that from 1992 to 1996, even though at the time he was very ill.

“He was utterly courageous in every way, shape and form and pushed himself to the limit despite his illness.

“He met his end with the same courage and at the end his only care was for mum, myself and my brother Gary. He was a much-loved husband and father.”

If you would like to donate to the sponsorship fund, you can send a cheque made payable to Diabetes UK to Downend Boxing Club, Pomphrey Hill Community Sport Association, Pomphrey Hill, Mangotsfield, Bristol, BS16 9DH.

keith turner