Father to run marathon for mental health charity Mind in memory of Cromer teenager Nyall ‘Smiley’ Brown

Mearl Brown is set to take on two marathons this year and is supporting mental health charity Mind.

Mearl Brown is set to take on two marathons this year and is supporting mental health charity Mind. Photo: MEARL BROWN - Credit: Archant

A north Norfolk father is raising money for a mental health charity and completing two marathons just two weeks apart.

Mearl Brown's son, the Cromer skate park campaigner, Nyall Brown, died in May last year after struggling with mental ill-health.

The North Norfolk Beach Runners recently donated £5,500 from the Cromer Boxing Day dip to Norwich and Central Norfolk Mind in memory of the 19-year-old, known as 'Smiley'.

And now Mr Brown is preparing to take part in the Brighton and London Marathons in April, and fundraising for the mental health charity in memory of his son.

Mr Brown, 45, said: 'I was meant to run the Brighton Marathon last year, but I deferred.

'I also managed to get an entry to the London Marathon through fundraising for Mind, and I have to raise at least £2,000 for them.'

And, as of Wednesday, January 30, Mr Brown had raised £1,365 on his fundraising page for the 26-mile challenge.

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On the page, the offshore worker from Cromer said running the London Marathon had 'always been an ambition of mine'.

He wrote: 'Nyall and I would often have a bit of banter about me never actually going ahead with that amount of commitment to running.

'Nyall was a keen and very talented sportsman, particularly in running and football. Having reached the All-England finals for five consecutive years in cross-country and played football for his county, he found it unbelievable that his forty-something father would run 26 miles.

'It is my ambition to prove him wrong and to raise some much needed funds for mental health support whilst doing so.'

He added: 'You or a family member may know or recognise Nyall from his continuous fundraising for Cromer skate park and the talent he showed with his BMX tricks upon completion.

'It is our aim as a family and members of the community to put something in place for future generations.

'We have worked closely with the Norfolk and Central Norwich branch of Mind and have been made aware of their future plans.

'These will only be made possible with your funding. Please help me to raise the funds to help towards making a much-needed impact on mental health support.'

• To donate to Mearl Brown's marathon for Mind, visit his fundraising page.