Laurie’s singing for his race sponsors

Marathon runners Laurie Dyer and Kathy McMahon
Marathon runners Laurie Dyer and Kathy McMahon

Rather than simply asking for sponsors, a London Marathon entrant is hoping to be invited to play a few gigs to raise money for his chosen charity.

Former Todmorden policeman and current manager of Hebden Royd Ladies Football Club, Laurie Dyer is picking up his guitar as well as his running shoes in the run up to the big race in April.

As well as training runs he has been brushing up his guitar picking skills to help raise money for the Visually Impaired Children Taking Action charity, which provides support for blind children to take part in activities.

And he has company on his training runs - his sister-in-law Kathy McMahon is also competing in this year’s event, to raise money for Cancer Research UK, although it is only Laurie who will be flexing his vocal cords.

Laurie said: “I have to pledge £1,250 and it’s not an easy thing raising money but I do play guitar and sing a bit as an amateur. I’m getting a few bookings including dates at Todmorden and Hebden Bridge golf clubs, and some are open to the public such as one at Littleborough Cricket Club on February 22, Booth Cricket Club on February 23 and the Brandywine at Luddenden Foot on March 29.

“It’s mainly be folk type music - a bit of Mike Harding, for example, maybe a bit of Beatles and a bit of my own stuff. It’s a bit of a giggle and people can join in. I stress I’m not a professional. The more they drink, the better I sound!” he said.

Laurie said he had played guitar since he was a schoolboy, but never commercially. But in this case the audience would be helping raise money for a good cause and he is open to bookings.

“If anyone is interested in booking me for a club, pub or party, I’d love to hear from them. It will be a bit of fun, I would do it for nothing but invite people present to sponsor me for the marathon,” he said.

Laurie says he chose the charity having done some work at Calder Valley Club, where some of the members had lost their sight, and when he was searching for a charity to fundraise for the children’s one resonated with him.

Kathy, along with Laurie’s wife Jill, will be in the audience for some of the shows.

You can book Laurie for a show by emailing him

Both Laurie and Kathy, who has run the London Marathon twice before, have giving sites - Laurie’s is dyer while for Kathy’s charity it is

The two, both 54, of Mytholmroyd, are now into their 16-week training programme for the run.