IT was an emotional night at the Sport Colchester Sports Personality Awards.

There were tears and a very deserving standing ovation as the extraordinary Gemma Edgar won the prestigious Bill Tucker Award.

Gemma proved a worthy winner, continuing to run and fundraise despite being diagnosed with a malignant brain tumour in October 2014, just eight weeks after the birth of her second son, Noah.

She then received another terrifying blow when it was discovered that Noah, then 18 months, had Retinoblastoma - a rare malignant tumour of the eye that affects children under the age of five. After undergoing surgery to remove his right eye, Noah is now on the road to recovery.

In January 2017, Gemma started taking part in the Colchester Parkrun, in Castle Park, and she has completed more than 60 of the weekly 5km runs.

She applied for a place at this year's London Marathon but a week after securing her place, Gemma discovered her tumour had regrown and she underwent a craniotomy in November 2017.

Despite this, just a few days after her surgery, she volunteered to marshal at the Parkrun.

Remarkably, Gemma was still determined to run the London Marathon for Childhood Eye Cancer Trust (CHECT) and, as part of her preparations, she completed the Colchester Half-Marathon in March.

Although unable to run the whole distance, Gemma went on to complete the London Marathon in just over five and a half hours, raising more than £5,570 for CHECT.

At the Colchester Parkrun on October 6, it was announced that Gemma's brain tumour had regrown and she has since been admitted to St Helena Hospice.

She was too ill to attend this week's ceremony but her award was gratefully received by her father and friends.

Master of ceremonies David Williams said: "It was the most courageous story ever told at the awards and it was our privilege that Gemma was this year’s winner of the Bill Tucker Award."

The Bill Tucker and Eric Chapman Awards are presented in memory of two people who gave up much of their time to develop sport in Colchester.

The fruits of their efforts are seen in the high quality of the sports clubs and individuals in the borough.

Colchester Phoenix swimmer Helen Thompson won the Bill Tucker Under-18 prize while the Eric Chapman Award went to Colchester Harriers stalwart David Wright.

Vivien Chapman presented the award on her late husband's behalf and delivered a short speech, as she has for the last 18 years.

"Being part of this ceremony is always a great pleasure and privilege," she said.

"The citations we heard were absolutely phenomenal and mindboggling.

"There's so much talent in the borough and while we heard a very sad story, it was also one of real bravery.

"Gemma's a very inspiring person and many of us felt overwhelmed when hearing her story."