Friends and family of a popular Lancaster man are raising money for Bay Hospitals Charity with a sponsored run in his memory.

Ian Black, 60, died after suffering a bleed on his brain in late 2020.

Family and friends are gathering for the special fundraising event to mark his birthday on Saturday 11 June.

All money donated to Bay Hospitals Charity will be used for the Emergency Department at Royal Lancaster Infirmary, to say thank you for the efforts made in the department to save Ian’s life.

Ian’s wife Margaret said: “This is our way of thanking everybody in the Emergency Department for what they did for him.

“It’s given us something to focus on and it’s something for our four grandsons as well – it helps to keep Ian’s memory alive for them.”

Ian, originally from Scotland, moved to Lancaster in the early ‘90s to work for the Prison Service following a career in the Army and the RAF Regiment.

A keen sportsman all his life, he had a wide range of interests including karate, golf, running, cycling and mountaineering.

Retiring from the Prison Service aged 55, Ian continued to work part time as well as enjoy his sporting challenges and charity fund-raising activities.

His achievements included participating in the Marathon des Sables desert race, cycling the length of the Pyrenees and climbing Mount McKinley in Alaska. At the time of his death he was training for an Iron Man triathlon.

His daughter Julie said: “It was such a shock to the family and his military family because he was so fit and there were no warning signs.

“We found it really difficult. You don’t expect someone who was such a big character to be gone so quickly. People thought he was indestructible.”

University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust Non-Executive Director Adrian Leather said: “It’s absolutely heartbreaking to hear of the loss that Ian’s family and friends have suffered.

“Everybody at UHMBT is very grateful to everyone involved in this event for their support for Bay Hospitals Charity.

“The donations will be used to help to improve the experience our patients have when they are treated in our Emergency Department – a fitting tribute to Ian’s memory.”

The run in Ian’s memory will start at Bull Beck, near Caton, with a choice of five- and 10-mile routes.

To sponsor the event, visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ianblack60