Aaron's sister in marathon tribute

The sister of a popular footballer who died suddenly in his Suffolk home has announced plans to run in next year's London Marathon in his honour.

Mychaela Gardiner will be taking part in the gruelling 26.2 -mile event with best friend Gemma Willans in memory of semi-professional Aaron Gardiner.

The 33-year-old, a former midfielder at AFC Sudbury and Ipswich Town, collapsed and died from a heart attack after a pre-season training run.

Now his sister hopes to raise money and awareness for the charity Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY) by pounding the streets of the capital in April.

"When my brother passed away last year I go in contact with CRY," said Ms Gardiner, 31, a teacher at Northgate High School in Ipswich.

"I wanted to raise awareness of the charity and I felt I wanted to do something for Aaron and not just forget about him.

"I also wanted to warn people this could happen to anyone they know.

"Aaron's three children will now have to go through tests organised by CRY to ensure any potential related problems they might have are looked at straight away.

"I am a little apprehensive about running the marathon, but I am also looking forward to it.

"Aaron was very well known and I hope I will get good support from the community."

In a distinguished local football career, Mr Gardiner was a youngster at Ipswich Town before playing for Cornard United, Braintree Town, Halstead Town and Diss Town.

Anyone who would like to donate some money should log on to http://www.justgiving.com/runningforaaron and make a pledge online.