FAMILY and friends of a Middlewich man with an inoperable brain tumour are lacing up their trainers to take on the Great North Run this weekend.

The group of 12, including Holmes Chapel primary school teacher Jill Booth, will be raising money for the Brain Tumour Charity during the famous half-marathon event – the most popular in the UK.

‘Team Robster’, so-called after their inspiration Robert Williams, 43, will travel up to Newcastle on a cloud of support, with £17,000 already pledged by the community.

Knutsford Guardian:

Robert’s wife, Sarah, is among the runners – with her previous longest run being a 10k. She is determined to turn the family’s difficult situation into a positive.

She said: “Robert’s journey has created a massive wave of support and love and care.”

Robert was diagnosed with glioblastoma last September and given 12 months to live, and immediately the family set about seeking a silver lining.

“By December, what started with a walk in Marbury Park to raise money for the charity became a place in the Great North Run,” Sarah said.

“It’s just about raising awareness, and in doing so we have become ‘Team Robster’ – one of his cousins used to call him that.

“My thanks go out to friends and family and so many people who have sponsored us. Robert is just so well thought of. People love and respect him. It’s positivity, and that has been Robert’s ethos since the beginning.”

Knutsford Guardian:

Sarah set up the Great Budworth Ice Cream Farm with her mum and married Robert 17 years ago.

They have three children – Laura, 15, Jessica, 12, and eight-year-old Max.

A dairy farmer in Middlewich, Robert began to feel tired and experience double vision at the start of September 2018. An MRI scan confirmed his diagnosis.

“It was at the end of September that our journey began,” Sarah said.

“It’s a high grade tumour. There are 130,000 different types and this is one of the rarer ones. It’s inoperable.

“I know that so many people are affected by brain tumours each year, so we are far from the only ones in this situation. We are doing it for so many other people.

“The choice of treatments available is just so limited. Only two per cent of funding from Cancer Research goes to brain tumour research, but it’s the biggest killer of under-40s in the UK.”

Knutsford Guardian:

Having received care at the Royal Stoke University Hospital, Robert is now being cared for by The Christie, with regular chemotherapy to which he has responded well.

It is hoped that he will be able to travel to the north east with the team of 12 runners, which included friends and supporters from across mid Cheshire and beyond.

Sarah said: “I’m excited, and overwhelmed by the generosity and support of people.

“We are doing it to complete, not to compete.

“I am not doing it to run a fast time, but to raise awareness. We are going to laugh and cry our way through it together.”

Team Robster’s Great North Runners are Kevin Clark, Andrew Anderson, Thomas Jackson, Alex Davidson, Jill Booth, Liz Edwards, Liz Whittingham, Toni-Anne Harrison, Rhiannan Lomas, Carol Hodgson, Nikki Lord and Sarah Williams.

Knutsford Guardian:

You can follow the fundraiser and the family’s ongoing charitable efforts in aid of the Brain Tumour Charity at

The Brain Tumour Charity funds pioneering research to increase survival, raise awareness of the symptoms and effects of brain tumours, and provide support for everyone affected to improve quality of life.