'He would have wanted it to go ahead' - emotional tributes paid to runner who died hours before sponsored charity event
PUBLISHED: 17:44 25 June 2019 | UPDATED: 19:10 25 June 2019
Tributes have poured in to a "dear friend" and member of a north Norfolk running club, after he died just hours before a sponsored charity event.
Members of the North Norfolk Beach Runners Club (NNBRC) took part in the sponsored walk from Cromer to Wells in honour of organiser Trevor Emery, who died in hospital on Saturday, June 22, the night before the event.
NNBRC chairman Clive Hedges said: "It's absolutely tragic and terribly sad that it happened on the day before the walk.
"It was Trevor's project and we know he would have wanted it to go ahead."
Mr Emery, a builder who lived alone in Cromer, had been a keen member of the running group since the early 2000s.
He was diagnosed with kidney problems, but his friend Mr Hedges said: "He never moaned, never complained and always tried to keep healthy and fit.
"After he was diagnosed with kidney issues he had to give up driving. He would catch the bus or train and take his building materials with him."
The 66-year-old runner was also a double kidney transplant patient - but after his second attempt was unsuccessful, he began having dialysis three times a week.
"He took up walking when he couldn't run," Mr Hedges added.
"He would regularly walk from Cromer to Weybourne, and he decided to raise money."
The walk was organised to fundraise for the Norfolk Renal Fund and United Norwich Kidney Patients Association, by walking from Cromer Dialysis Unit to Wells Dialysis Unit, on Sunday, June 23 - about a 24 mile distance.
Mr Hedges, an estate agent from Sheringham, said: "We put the news out on social media and one of his colleagues set up a fundraising page.
"On Thursday we got a call to say he'd had an incident at home but managed to call an ambulance.
"They told him 'if we can get you to Papworth you've got a 20pc chance of survival'.
"But despite the skill of the surgeons he passed away at 5.30pm on Saturday afternoon."
The 60-year-old added: "We all rallied around and had about 60 people take part on the Sunday."
The walk raised twice Mr Emery's £300 fundraising goal, with a total of £600 on his fundraising page so far.
Mr Emery leaves a brother and nephews.
'Run free my friend' - runners pay tribute to Trevor:
Tributes to Trevor Emery were shared on the North Norfolk Beach Runners group on social media.
Chairman Clive Hedges said: "It is with absolute regret that I have to inform you our dear friend and club member Trevor Emery has passed away.
"He has been a friend and amazing inspiration to many.
"He was taken ill on Thursday but sadly even the skills of the best surgeons at Papworth were unable to save him.
"It's so poignant as Trevor had organised and planned a walk from Cromer Hospital to Wells Hospital tomorrow to raise funds for the renal unit at Cromer Hospital.
"This walk will still go ahead - sadly now in memory of the man that organised it.
"RIP my dear friend Trevor. You inspired me and even beat me - on one occasion - and you never let me forget it.
"Run free my friend."
Other runners shared their memories of Mr Emery, and called him as a "brave man" and a "lovely gentleman".