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Charity walk raises thousands in memory of reporter who died aged 39

John BoymanFriends of a sports reporter who died last year aged 39 have raised thousands of pounds in his memory.

People who knew John Boyman completed a 39-mile walk in the ex-Basingstoke Gazette journalist’s memory, raising more than £3,000 for two charities in the process.

John, pictured, was a reporter at the Gazette for more than a decade between 2004 and 2015 before moving into public relations, where he later became head of PR at Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

The father-of-two, who had been suffering from bowel cancer, died in September 2021.

The walk proceeded from Stamford Bridge, home of Chelsea FC, to Aldershot Town’s Recreation Ground.

On their way, the friends tied a ribbon around a rose planted in memory of John at St Andrew’s Church in Frimley, Surrey, and were joined by John’s parents Anne and Martin for the last few miles.

Participants raised money for Cancer Research UK’s Bobby Moore Fund and Bucket List Wishes, a charity which arranged a special day for John, his wife Helen, and their two sons Zac and Thom before he died.

Co-organiser Gary Stock told the Gazette: “The walk was important to me as I felt we had to do something in honour of John and in his memory as well as making sure Helen and his family know that he will always be in our thoughts.

“But also, it had to be challenging and probably something John would have said: ‘What on earth are you doing that for?'”

He added: “A few blisters and some aches and pains are nothing in comparison [to what John suffered#, and it just spurred me on and I knew then no matter what, I’d make it to the end.

“Having a great group of friends to do this walk with really helped and having friends and family joining us throughout the walk, and especially towards the end really helped as well.”

Donations to the cause can still be made here.