Eltham men to take on Silverstone challenge

PUBLISHED: 10:26 14 February 2013 | UPDATED: 10:26 14 February 2013

Ben Smith and Catriona Melly

Ben Smith and Catriona Melly


Two young men from Eltham will be running a half-marathon around grand prix circuit Silverstone to raise money for a brave little girl who was close to both their hearts.

Ben Smith, 34, and Liam Melly, 25, are taking on the challenge to raise money for the Starlight Children’s Charity, which provided a surprise trip for Liam’s sister Catriona before she passed away last March, aged 12.

Liam and Ben, who is married to Catriona’s elder sister Patricia, will be taking part in the 13.1 miles run on March 3 to mark the first anniversary of her passing away.

Ben said: “It’s going to be a tough run and the training has been difficult but we’ve been inspired by the memory of Catriona and the charity we’re raising money for.

“Catriona went through so much adversity when she was ill but she was always happy so neither of us are going to complain about few aching muscles from running.”

Catriona, who was a pupil at St Mary’s RC Primary School and St Thomas More RC Secondary School, in Eltham, had Immunodeficiency, which meant she had a very poor immune system and was highly susceptible to infection.

Shortly before she died Starlight arranged for Catriona to be taken by limousine from her home in Eltham to Andover, Hampshire, to meet two snowy white Shetland ponies.

Catriona’s parents Carol and Pat, and her other brother Callum and sisters Patricia and Michelle, are supporting Liam and Ben and want people to donate to Starlight.

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