01:20AM, Thursday 17 April 2014
More than £70,000 has been donated to the chosen charity of an IT expert who died after collapsing at the finish line of the London Marathon.
Robert Berry, who worked at the headquarters of Three in Maidenhead, was given emergency treatment before being transferred to St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
The 42-year-old was running the marathon in aid of the National Osteoporosis Society after his mother was diagnosed with the condition.
He was aiming to raise £1,700 but since the news of Mr Berry’s death broke, donations have flooded into his JustGiving page to the sum of £62,960.
Mr Berry, from Newbury, joined the Three offices in Grenfell Road in 2001 and returned as the head of ICT Innovation in 2012 after a spell working for Ericsson.
David Jones, chief information officer at Three and Mr Berry’s manager, said: “Rob was a great guy. Aside from being great at his job, he was simply one of the loveliest people I’ve had the privilege to know.”
The avid runner was also a member of David Lloyd gym in Maidenhead town centre, where staff described him as a ‘seasoned and experienced’ athlete who visited the gym almost every day.
In his preparations for the marathon on Sunday, Mr Berry competed in the Windsor half marathon last year, where he clocked a 1:30:56, finishing 77th out of 3,743 runners.
He also ran November’s Marlow half marathon and the Reading half marathon last month, achieving similar times.
In a running blog, his final posts described how his latest training runs had been a ‘nightmare’, with breathing difficulties forcing him to use his inhaler far more often than usual. He complained of itchy eyes and a running nose, which he initially thought to be triggered by hayfever, before being told it was possibly the result of the increased pollution and dust blown in from the Sahara.
The National Osteoporosis Society said its immediate concerns are for his family and hoped to do something meaningful and fitting with the money raised.
A statement read: “We are really touched by the incredible generosity of so many people making donations in tribute to Mr Berry, who wrote so movingly about why he was raising money to help fight the impact of osteoporosis.
“When the time is right, we would like to discuss with his family the options available for how the National Osteoporosis Society may use the funds raised in his memory.”
Visit justgiving.com/Rob-Berry-uk for details.
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