A CORONATION Street star has backed a former Bolton News journalist’s bid to lose half his body weight and run his first marathon in memory of his wife.

Dave Beevers, of Smithills, has already lost almost nine stones since January through training for the Rotterdam Marathon on April 13, the city where his wife Diane spent her childhood.

Actor John Thomson heard about 58-year-old Mr Beevers’s dramatic weight loss and wanted to show his support.

Ex-Corrie, Fast Show and Cold Feet star John said: “It’s amazing. I had never come across someone who’d lost that much weight in a year. He’s turned his life around and all for a great cause — it’s an incredible achievement.

“Diane would be so proud of what Dave has done. He’s well on course and he’ll be brilliant on the day. I’m behind him all the way to Rotterdam. It’s an inspiring story so please support his appeal in any way you can.”

A year ago, when Mr Beevers’ wife Diane — a former licensee of the old Sally Up Steps pub in Chorley Old Road — lost her six-year battle with breast cancer, Dave weighed a massive 24 stones.

He had not done any exercise for 40 years and struggled to get up a flight of stairs.
Now he has lost nearly nine stones, dropped five shirt sizes and lost eight inches off his waist in order to raise £100,000 for charity.

He also started an online fund-raising campaign called Running With Diane and writes a blog about his progress.

Mr Beevers, who lives in Woodburn Drive, Smithills said: “I am not a runner, never have been. But I have become passionate about it and the only reason I can think of is that Diane has decided I needed to make a difference.

"Every time I run, she runs with me. We have done everything together for over 20 years. Why should now be any different?

"Cancer's not beaten her. It took her body but it couldn't touch what made her special. We'll always have that. Especially when we're running together."

To donate to Dave’s appeal visit justgiving.com/runningwithdiane