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'Joel would've been leading the way' says terror victim's mum ahead of charity run

By David Cosgrove | Wednesbury | News | Published:

"I know that if Joel was here he would be organising things like this."

Suzy Evans with her son Owen Richards

Joel Richards' mother Suzy Evans has urged people to sign up for the second Run for Joel event which takes place at the weekend.

Joel, his uncle Adrian Evans and grandfather Patrick Evans were all killed in Tunisia in June 2015, while his younger brother Owen survived.

The fun run is the latest event raised by their family along with Smile for Joel’s charity partner Victim Support.

The inaugural Run for Joel event last year raised £27,000 – so it is returning on Sunday for a second edition.

People hoping to take part can still sign up before Friday.

Miss Evans said: "We're really excited.

"There were so many people involved last year that we felt we had to do the event again this year.

"We need everyone’s support to join us to make the fun run even bigger than last year.

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"I also want to remind people that they don't have to run the 3km – it can be either a walk or a stroll.

"People can take it at their own pace and in their own time.

"The 5km is the serious run.

"A lot of people who did the run last year actually took up doing Parkruns as well – it wasn't just a one off."

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Miss Evans said her sports loving son Joel, who was an aspiring football referee and attended the University of Worcester, would have planned similar events if he had not been killed.

She said: "I know that if Joel was here he would be organising things like this – doing fun runs for other people.

"He would have been leading the way.

"Me and Owen are trying to do what we think Joel would be doing.

"He loved sport and also getting people into sport – and he also loved running.

"I know we've got his blessing."

At last year’s event Walsall FC manager Jon Whitney started the 3km fun run as well as taking part himself.

Following last year’s event, Miss Evans said: “We have been overwhelmed by how much we raised, how many people came out to support the event and how the community came together.

“What happened ripped the community apart but [the Run for Joel] brought us all together.

“It was absolutely fantastic and everybody did them proud.”

Smile For Joel raises money for Victim Support which supports all UK families who become victims of murder and terrorism,.

Runner need to register online at smileforjoel.com by Friday.

Anyone who completes the runs will be handed a special Smile for Joel wristband.

For more information email Smileforjoel@aol.com or visit the Facebook page.

David Cosgrove

By David Cosgrove
Deputy Chief Reporter - @davidcosgrove_

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