A Bridport resident is set to run the London Marathon in a tribute to his wife's sister who died from meningitis at the age of 10.

Antony Carlile, a Royal Navy engineer and striker for Bridport FC, has pledged to run the 2021 London Marathon to raise funds for Great Ormond Street Hospital.

He will be running in memory of his wife's sister, Rachel, who died following a battle with meningitis when she was just 10-years-old.

Rachel was cared for and looked after by staff at Great Ormond Street and died before Antony's wife, Amy, a teacher at Holyrood Academy in Chard, had the chance to meet her sister.

As a tribute to Rachel and to raise money for a worthy cause, Antony decided to enter this year's London Marathon through the charity ballot - his application was accepted on December 22. This year's event will take place in October.

Antony said: "My wife’s older sister passed away before she was born,I think it's really hard for Amy since she never got the chance to meet her. It’s always been quite hard for her mum and dad to talk about it as well.

"I decided to enter the marathon through the charity ballot in memory of Rachel. I didn't tell anyone in the family. In my head it’s the least I can do to get to know her, I’ll never know her personally but it’s the least I can do to pay my respects to her.

"When I was accepted I told my wife who burst into tears and told me that it was an amazing idea. She then told her mum and dad who burst into tears as well and we’ve actually been able to have a few more conversations about Rachel since. It’s been really nice getting to learn more about her."

The marathon has been pushed back to October this year, from the usual April date, in the hope that restrictions will be reduced and more people will be able to participate.

Antony has already raised £1,300 of his £2,000 target - despite only starting the JustGiving page this week.

Antony added: "The training is going really well so far. I play football for Bridport so I'm reasonably fit anyway. My superior has run marathons before so he's been very supportive in my training and will let me go for a run when I need to.

"The fundraising is going really well, I wasn’t expecting to be doing as well as I am. It would be excellent to raise as much as possible.

"I just hope I do the everyone who's donated a good service, myself a good service and most importantly do Rachel a good service. It’s so important to keep her memory going and make sure she isn’t forgotten about and the work Great Ormond Street do is unrivalled so I'm very happy to be running in their name."

To donate, visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/antonycarlile