TRIBUTES flooded in this week for a Chorley man who collapsed and died of a heart attack shortly after running the London Marathon.

Graeme Barrow, 34, from Babylon Lane, Heath Charnock, was running with his brother-in-law Gerard Adams.

The pair were helping raise funds for the Motor Neurone Disease Association in memory of Graeme's mother Sheila Barrow who died of the disease two months ago.

Graeme's father Edward, also from Chorley, had devoted his life to caring for his wife and Graeme previously ran the marathon in 1999 to raise funds for the charity, along with brothers Paul and Mark. He also had three sisters, Kate, Jane and Susan.

Mr Barrow fell ill in the Motor Neurone Disease Association's tent after completing the gruelling 26-mile marathon in four hours, 49 minutes.

After being treated at the scene by St John's Ambulance staff he was taken to the nearby St Thomas's Hospital, but was declared dead 30 minutes later. David Jones, head of leisure services for Chorley Borough Council, said Graeme had worked at All Seasons Leisure Centre, Chorley, where he started as a part-time coach in 1985. He recently moved to another position in Wyre for the centre's management company DC Leisure Group.

Mr Jones said: "We are all very shocked, not least because he has run the marathon before.

"He was a very dedicated sportsman and for someone so young and so fit to go in such a way is terrible. Our sympathies go out to his family." Clare Kennedy, chief executive of DC Leisure, said: "Graeme was a well respected manager whose cheerful manner and professionalism will leave a void.

"He will be sorely missed by all of us privileged enough to have worked with him."

And Jane Burns, director of fund-raising for the Motor Neurone Disease Association, said: "We are desperately saddened by the tragic news of Graeme's death.

"The family have been very supportive of the MND Association, raising funds for us on several occasions, and our hearts go out to his family at this time."