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Sudden death of West Runton’s Tim Stubbs spurs ambitious mountain bike ride

PUBLISHED: 10:47 07 May 2015 | UPDATED: 10:47 07 May 2015

West Runton'sTim Stubbs, who died of cancer on April 13, 2015, pictured at his neice's wedding in 2013. Credit must read: Chris Biele/PixBeatphoto

West Runton'sTim Stubbs, who died of cancer on April 13, 2015, pictured at his neice's wedding in 2013. Credit must read: Chris Biele/PixBeatphoto

©2013 Chris Biele, ©2013 Chris Biele

The sudden death of a West Runton cancer victim has spurred his friends to plan an ambitious bike ride in his memory.

Robert Haylett ( left) and Jason Cockaday (right). Picture by Chris Taylor PhotoRobert Haylett ( left) and Jason Cockaday (right). Picture by Chris Taylor Photo

Tim Stubbs, 42, known as Miff to his friends, was a keen biker and carpet fitter who had lived with Crohn’s Disease since his teens.

But last month a trip to hospital with stomach pains revealed he was suffering from a rare and aggressive tumour in his liver - and he died just two days later, on April 13.

Now Sheringham friend Jason Cockaday, 41, has joined forces with Rob Haylett, 28, of Badersfield to bike across a 46-mile Northumbrian hill range, taking in 6,500ft of ascent - the equivalent of climbing Ben Nevis twice.

Mr Stubbs’ older brother Jeremy, 55, who owns a mug company in Sheringham, said doctors did not expect such a sudden decline.

“We didn’t expect to lose our little brother, certainly not yet,” said Mr Stubbs, a father of three.

“I was away at the time but I was texting him. Unfortunately they lost him and the last time I saw him was in Morrison’s a few weeks before.”

He said the family were all still in a state of shock. “Thankfully my parents are not alive because it would have been devastating for them.”

Mr Stubbs said his brother had gone for a regular checkup just three weeks before his death, where there was no sign of the cancer.

But just weeks later the former Cromer High School student had pain in his stomach. Mr Stubbs, of Priory Road, added: “He didn’t ever complain, he just got on with it. He was a really happy go lucky chap.

“We called him Miff because it’s what he used to call himself when he was little. He couldn’t pronounce Timothy.”

Now his family and friends are coming to terms with his death. “His partner is devastated,” added Mr Stubbs.

A funeral service will be held tomorrow in West Runton, before a convoy of motorcycles follow his hearse to St Faith’s Crematorium.

For Mr Cockaday, of Birch Grove, who had already lost another friend David Ryan after Christmas, the loss spurred him to tackle one of the country’s toughest off-road challenges.

“Neither of them had any chance to prepare,” said Mr Cockaday. “I always thought if you got cancer you would have a few weeks, or months or even years.

“It happens that two friends of mine didn’t get the chance.”

The duo will set off on June 14 for their eight-hour cycle.

To sponsor them, visit www.justgiving.com/jason-cockaday

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