A former rugby player is preparing to undertake a challenge that would see him break a world record as he attempts to run 48 marathons in just 30 days.

William Goodge plans to go from Cornwall to Cumbria in the process as a way of paying tribute to his mother Amanda, who died from cancer.

Mr Goodge’s enormous challenge will see him take part in marathons in all 48 English counties throughout September, finishing with the London Marathon on October 3.

This will see him cover more than 1,200 miles in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support, who cared for his mother at the Macmillan Primrose Unit at Bedford Hospital.

Speaking to the Press Association, Mr Goodge said: “The Macmillan nurses who work within Bedford hospital, where my mum had most of her treatment, were always there for her when she was diagnosed with cancer.

“Knowing there is an available support system for the cancer patient and the family too was incredible. It’s a tough time for so many people and I found comfort even knowing there was support available if I or my family needed it.

“Everyone I’ve met in Macmillan has a true heart of gold and the work they do every day is beyond important.”

Coping with his mum dying from cancer

For the past three years the 27-year-old has spent Christmas Day running near his home in Ampthill, Bedfordshire as a way of coping with the loss of his mother.

She died aged just 53 after a battle against Non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

Gazette: William Goodge will be running to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support (PA/PA Images)William Goodge will be running to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support (PA/PA Images)

Remembering his mother – who worked for years as a nurse before opening a cafe – he said: “She was the kindest person you could ever meet and never had a bad word to say about anyone.

“When it came to her family, she was very protective. She was very selfless and always wanted to do everything for everyone.”

Having been a former rugby player for championship side Ampthill RUFC and now an experienced runner, Mr Goodge says he is physically well-prepared for the incredible challenge that now lies ahead of him.

He added: “Those moments of complete depletion, when you feel like you shouldn’t take another step, is when I feel closest to my mum.

“I am inspired by her strength in her cancer fight and the same strength other people with the disease show.”

His first obstacle is in Northumberland on Saturday, and eventually concludes on 3 October with the London Marathon.

Melanie Humphreys, regional fundraising manager for Macmillan, speaking to the Press Association said: “The last 18 months have been incredibly challenging for many of us, especially people living with cancer.

“It is more important than ever that we are able to provide high-quality support that reaches everyone from the moment they are diagnosed.

“At a time where Macmillan’s support is needed more than ever before, we are facing the aftermath of a significant drop in our income as a result of the pandemic.

“We cannot thank William enough for his endless efforts to help us raise the vital funds we need to be there for people living with cancer.”

Mr Goodge’s fundraising page can be found here.