A BIG-HEARTED lorry driver is using his love of running to stop cancer tearing apart families like it did his own.

New Cumnock’s Derek Montgomery has devoted his life to fundraising after losing his brother and father to the disease.

The dad was left devastated and now wants to save other families from the heartbreak. His entire life revolves around his family, his job, and running as much as possible.

Derek also organises auctions to gather funds for charity with Celtic and Rangers offering signed memorabilia to help pull up donations. He has raised almost £35,000 for Cancer Research UK and is set to take part in his seventh London Marathon.

Cumnock Chronicle:

Derek runs about 40 miles a week in the build up to the marathon and adding up to around 1200 miles a year. The generous driver has also had his fair share of celebrity run ins from Football legends like Brendan Rodgers and Steven Gerrard to radio and TV hosts.

He was invited by Celtic staff to join them at their Lennoxtown training during the winter on a bitter cold morning and was even welcomed by Lisbon Lion John Clarkwith the offer of a warm drink and chatted to some of the players and staff.

Derek said: “I started running years ago to get fit and shift a bit of weight I had gained from being a lorry driver. Really I just caught a running bug and couldn’t stop.

“I lost three and a half stones and I started to think about doing marathons and take the hobby even more seriously. I decided the London Marathon was one to tick off the bucket list and people started to even offer to sponsor me.

Cumnock Chronicle:

“Now this will be my seventh year doing a London Marathon and I can’t wait to get involved again. I grudge myself a new pair of socks or running gear but I’m happy to do anything for anyone else. I’m not in it for praise or glory that’s not what it’s about.

“I just want to do my hobby which is running and help as many people as possible while I do it. I don’t have any plans to stop soon, I want to do at least 10 London Marathons, that be brilliant.”

“I lost my dad and my brother to cancer which hit me really hard, that’s why I want to raise so much cash for the charity because I know exactly what it feels like to lose someone. So if I can help other people to not going through that by running then that’s what I will do.”

Donate to Derek here https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/derek-montgomery11