20th London marathon for Fred

Fred Tomlinson

Fred Tomlinson

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A RETIRED Doncaster police officer will have his eyes on the finish line this weekend when he plans to complete the London Marathon for the 20th time.

Fred Tomlinson MBE, 61, will take on Sunday’s gruelling race dressed as the much-loved children’s TV character, Bungle the Bear, to raise money for children’s charity, The Rainbow Trust.

He has already raised more than £35,000 after he learned about the trust’s work with terminally ill children following the death of his 15-year-old daughter Claire to a rare form of cancer.

He said: “Losing a child is indescribable and even now, more than 20 years on, the pain is raw. My wife Vanessa and I had little support through this dark time and following Claire’s death I was at rock bottom.

“At this time, I remember picking up a running magazine one day and reading about Rainbow Trust.”

Mr Tomlinson, of Hatfield, discovered how the trust provides help and support for families by visiting homes to help take care of terminally-ill children and he decided to help the charity in any way he could.

Transforming from a ‘typical couch potato’, he donned his first pair of running shoes and has never looked back.

He added: “It was like therapy for me, a way I could make some sense of something so awful and help people get through what we’d been through as a family.”