THE family of a Knutsford stalwart are turning ‘sadness into something good’ by completing twelve fundraising challenges in his memory.

Howard Kirkham, of St John’s Road, died from a brain tumour in April at the age of 66. He was a well-known figure in the Knutsford community, with roles such as chairman of governors at Egerton Primary School and finance chairman of Knutsford Methodist Church.

Following his death, Howard’s family – his wife, four children, their partners and seven grandchildren – pledged to raise £10,000 for East Cheshire Hospice, who cared for him in his last days, and brain tumour charities, Headcase and the Brain Tumour Charity.

They have set themselves fundraising challenges, including the London Marathon, a 48-mile ‘lakes-in-a-day’ run and the three peaks challenge.

“Dad was such an inspiration to us and so many others in his work, social and family life,” said Sara Waters, Howard’s daughter.

“We were delighted to share our plans with dad in those precious last few days we spent with him.

“We know that raising money for such fantastic charities and trying to direct our massive sense of loss into something good will help us as we train.”

The first of the twelve challenges was completed on Friday August 8, when nine of Howard’s family and friends cycled 113 miles from Knutsford to Abersoch in just 13 hours.

“They did really well, they were a bit achy but did brilliantly,” added Sara.

Now the family are well on the way to smashing their fundraising target, with £7,900 already raised.

This was helped by Egerton Primary School’s contribution of £1,800, which pupils raised through a ‘Kirk-a-thon’ challenge in June.

To support The Kirkham Family Challenge, visit