The son of a former Chirk Town Councillor and mayor of Wrexham has raised more than £2,000 for charity after completing a marathon in memory of his dad.

Gareth Roberts, son of Ian Roberts, was set to take part in the Manchester Marathon in March, but the event was pushed back to October.

It was then cancelled again due to Covid, but organisers promised a medal for everyone who completed the marathon virtually.

Determined to complete the challenge, Gareth ran his own marathon-distance route in London, after months of training and preparation.

His aim was to run in memory of his dad, a popular figure in the Chirk area who died in 2018 after being diagnosed with multiple myeloma.

In doing so, Gareth set out to raise funds for Cancer Research UK, setting an initial target of £500 – but he was left overwhelmed with the support he received, with donations making up £2,395.

Gareth described completing the marathon as emotional, and insists he is very grateful to everyone who donated to his fundraiser.

He said: “I don’t feel like I’m old enough to have lost my dad – I’m in my early-30s, and you think they’ll always be around.

“I want to help other people going through similar situations to the one my family did – until you go through it it’s hard to understand.

“It isn’t easy and so if there’s anything these charities can do to help people through it, then it’s obviously a positive.

“Honestly, the support has been amazing and the fact so much money has been raised already is unbelievable.

“I can’t really put into words how much I appreciate the support for me doing the marathon and the donations too.

“I picked an amount I thought might be possible to raise, but it has been completely blown out of the water.

“Without the research, medicines and other aspects in that area won’t improve, so it’s massively important.”

Gareth chose a marathon as a fitting tribute to his dad, who supported him throughout his sporting endeavours, including watching him play football and cricket from a young age.

The pair also attended football matches together watching Wrexham and Manchester United.

With several sporting injuries over the years, Gareth wanted to complete a marathon sooner rather than later, and discussed the idea with his dad in 2018.

Gareth said: “I’ve played sports my whole life and my dad was always there to support me with that.

“He was very involved with that and would always watch me play football and cricket.

“I think I discussed with him about me possibly doing a marathon not long before he passed away.

“I’ve had quite a few injuries through sport over the years – I’ve had three knee cartilage operations on my left knee and I’ve dislocated and fractured my ankle.

“With that in mind, I felt like this would be the last opportunity for me to do one, and even better to do it in memory of my dad and in aid of Cancer Research UK.

“In total I raised more than £2,300 for Cancer Research which is beyond anything I could have imagined.

“I’m really grateful to those who kindly donated to help me reach this amount.

“I’m sure my dad would be proud of the achievement and of the support this should provide to other families going through the same thing.

“My dad did a lot for his community, now his memory is contributing to helping others beat cancer.”

To donate to Gareth’s fundraiser, visit