A DAD from Callands has described his journey to the London marathon, following a heartbreaking personal ordeal.

Luke Neary, aged 32, has lost both grandfathers, his father, and a close friend to cancer, and is undertaking the London marathon in the hopes of raising vital funds to combat the illness.

Luke, a contracts supply agent who works in Penketh, is currently in training for the London marathon, looking to raise money for the Anthony Nolan charity, which undertakes vital cancer research in young people.

Warrington Guardian: Luke took part in Warrington Runners' Festival in 2022Luke took part in Warrington Runners' Festival in 2022 (Image: Luke Neary)

The dad from Callands also coaches Eagle Junior Football Club, and says the hardest part of his training will be juggling work, football coaching, and clocking up enough miles during his regime.

Luke told the Warrington Guardian: "The hardest part of the training so far has been where I have had a hard day at work and I arrive home to go out running tired and have the wind and rain against my face.

"Regardless, I show up and put the work in."

When asked why he chose this particular charity, Luke said: "Cancer has played a massive part in my life, I have lost both of my granddads and my dad to the illness; with my mum also suffering from cancer and is terminally ill with it.

"I lost my dad in 2014 when I was 23. When I cross that finish line I will also look to the sky hoping my dad is looking down on me, proud of the achievement I have completed for an amazing cause."

Warrington Guardian: Luke juggles his work and training with coaching a junior football teamLuke juggles his work and training with coaching a junior football team (Image: Luke Neary)

The London marathon will be the latest in a long line of challenges for Luke, though this one will be more voluntary than some other obstacles placed in his way - he broke his ankle at age 17, with the injury leading to him being ejected from the marines when he was in his 20s.

Luke says completing the marathon, after being told he wouldn't be able to cope with the fitness aspect of the marines, will be one of his greatest achievements.

He added: "To cross that finish line will mean more than any words could ever describe.

"I constantly picture crossing the finish line with my wife, kids and my mum there cheering me on."

Luke Neary will take part in the London marathon on Sunday, April 23, and is hoping to raise £10,000 for the Anthony Nolan charity (anthonynolan.org/help-save-a-life/join-stem-cell-register) - more information can be found on Luke's fundraising page, here.