A Carlisle-born fund runner put his best foot forward every day in January to help raise funds for a statue of the late comedian Bobby Ball.

Kelvin Wood, 48, ran a total of 152 miles over 31 days and managed to help raise £2,500 for the Bobby Ball statue fund.

The ‘Get the BALL Rolling’ group on Facebook has been campaigning to have a statue of the late comedian built at Lowther Pavillion and Gardens in Blackpool since January 3.

“Bobby was always hero of mine from an early age and I got to know him off stage by crossing paths with him through work. He was as big a hero to me off the stage as he was on it,” said Mr Wood.

“We lost such an iconic figure in Bobby last year, but it was also different because he was a friend of mine as well. It just seemed right at the time.

“The run gave also us something else to focus on rather than Covid.”

In normal times, Mr Wood also works in the performance industry in Blackpool as a singer and entertainer, covering songs from the 60s, 70s and 80s.

Mr Wood’s interest in running started 10 years ago and he added that his latest challenge was made easier by the support he got from friends and family in Cumbria.

“I’ve never done a run over more than two consecutive days and doing 31 was really tough. When you have the rain, ice and snow against you as well it’s even more difficult.

“I’ve still got family in Gretna and Carlisle and their support has been unbelievable. They’ve followed my journey since day one.”

Mr Wood’s runs, averaging five kilometers each, took place around Blackpool where he now lives.

The last day was particularly special as two of Bobby Ball’s grandsons decided to join Mr Wood on the last section of his run between the Comedy Carpet in Blackpool and Lytham St Annes.

Mr Wood added: “I got approached by two of Bobby’s grandsons to run the last part of the race with me.

“We were all socially distanced, but it meant so much more than the other 30 days that had gone before it.

“When we got to the finish line, Bobby’s wife, Yvonne, and daughter were there and one or two in their social bubbles clapping us in. Bobby’s wife presented me with a glass trophy which they’d had made for me and it was just so emotional.”

Comedian Bobby passed away on October 28 2020 at the age of 76.

In total, the Bobby Ball statue fund has raised £16,091 and is £83,909 off its £100,000 target.

To donate, visit www.justgiving.com/campaign/bobbyballstatue.