World of Sport

Donations pour in after tragic London Marathon death

World of Sport

Donations have now topped £23,500 for Robert Berry's money-raising effort after he died having crossed the finish line at the London Marathon.

The 42-year-old, who was previously not named by organisers, collapsed after completing the marathon on Sunday and was pronounced dead upon reaching hospital despite having received medical attention on the course.

Berry was running to raise money and awareness for the National Osteoporosis Society, and his Just Giving page has now received a staggering amount of donations.

On his JustGiving donations page, Mr Berry - who is from Reading - said he was undertaking the marathon after his mother, Ann Berry, was diagnosed with the a brittle bone condition at the age of 52.

"I'm running the London Marathon in support of the National Osteoporosis Society for the support given to my mother who was diagnosed with Osteoporosis at the age of 52 but whose current condition (we found out later) was triggered from a lifting incident at the age of 47," he said. "Because of the stress on her lower back, two sets of bones in her lower spine collapsed."

In a touching message on his own website, he added: "This page is dedicated to my mum, who despite being diagnosed with Osteoporosis at the relatively early age of 52 years, has been an inspiration through the continued positive outlook she has displayed ever since, despite some quite clear discomfort."

[Robert Berry's Just Giving page]

[Tragedy at London Marathon as man dies after race]

Claire Severgnini, the charity's chief executive, said in a statement: "Our immediate concerns are for Mr Berry's family. Our thoughts and deepest sympathies are with them at this tragic time."

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Robert Berry on Just Giving

Mark Jameson, who also ran in the marathon, donated and wrote: "God bless you Rob. Your family must be so proud of you, raising money to help your Mum and others. So sorry it had to end in this way. R.I.P."

In a statement, the event's organisers, Virgin Money, expressed their "sincere condolences" to his family.

"Mr Berry was immediately taken to one of our medical facilities where he was treated by four consultants, including one in emergency medicine," the statement said.

"He was transferred to St Mary's Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

"We would like to continue to express our sincere condolences to the family and friends of Mr Berry and our thoughts and deepest sympathies are with them all at this difficult time."

The incredible surge of donations has triggered memories of 30-year-old hairdresser Claire Squires, who collapsed just a mile from the finishing line in 2012 before dying of cardiac failure.

Berry's death was the first at the event since, with Squires having raised money for the Samaritans. Donations to the charity soared to more than £1 million in the weeks after her tragic passing.

A total of 36,000 competitors took part in the 26.2 mile event, which started at Blackheath and Greenwich parks and ended on The Mall.

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