Running in memory of ‘special’ friend Lee Dagnan

Simon Durrant, pictured at Lee's memorial bench at Bughley House, and inset Lee Dagnan
Simon Durrant, pictured at Lee's memorial bench at Bughley House, and inset Lee Dagnan
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A man will run the Perkins Great Eastern Run in Peterborough in memory of a close friend who died of malaria.

Simon Durrant, 26, of West Street Gardens, Stamford, will take on the half marathon challenge on October 13 in Peterborough.

He decided to sign up to raise funds for the Malaria No More UK charity in memory of friend Lee Dagnan. Lee, from Pickworth, died from malaria aged 26 in March last year.

Simon, who works for Cummins Generator Technologies, said: “Last year a few of Lee’s friends completed a cycle ride from Stamford Meadows to Crantock, Newquay, to raise money for the same charity.

“So I just wanted to do my bit, in memory of Lee. We are also asking local businesses to donate prizes for a raffle we are having on the afternoon of the race.”

Simon added: “By raising money for them, I can hopefully do my bit towards preventing another tragedy like this happening again.”

Lee was a former Royal Marine who served in Afghanistan before joining the maritime industry as an armed security guard.

He contracted malaria on board a crude oil tanker in the Indian Ocean.

Lee had complained of feeling unwell when he boarded the ship. Members of the crew gave him flu medication and he rested in his cabin. But his condition deteriorated he died seven days later.

He suffered two heart attacks as he reached a French military hospital in the African country of Djibouti.

Simon has been training hard for the race and despite a football-related injury in April is feeling good about the run.

He said: “I’m not trying to break any world records, I just simply want to raise as much money as possible and do my bit in memory of a truly special friend. I will give everything I can to do that.”

You can sponsor Simon at www.justgiving.com/simondurrant. The raffle will also be held at Blackstones Sport and Social Club on the afternoon of the race.

Earlier this year Lee’s family launched a petition calling for improved safety of Britons working abroad. Visit http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/43309