Man takes on 201-mile challenge from Carrow Road to Old Trafford

Mark Laws setting off for his 201-mile run from Carrow Road to Old Trafford, cheered on by his family

Mark Laws setting off for his 201-mile run from Carrow Road to Old Trafford, cheered on by his family - Credit: Paul Chesterton

A life-long Norwich City fan is taking on the mammoth challenge of covering more than 200 miles on foot in memory of his late brother-in-law.

Mark Laws started his colossal charity challenge from Carrow Road to Old Trafford on Sunday lunchtime, aiming to reach his final destination ahead of United's fixture against the Canaries on April 16.

Dad-of-two Mark described his brother-in-law Jamie Robinson as a "die-hard Manchester United fan".

Manchester United fan Jamie Robinson "lived and breathed" football, according to his family

Manchester United fan Jamie Robinson "lived and breathed" football, according to his family - Credit: Robinson family

"He breathed football," he said. "He was ridiculously annoying on matchdays, and would message or call persistently to make sure we were watching.

"He was like a six-year-old boy in a man's body when it came to football. Every matchday was like Christmas Eve."

In January 2021, Jamie contracted Covid-19 and later needed to be airlifted to a specialist hospital in Manchester for life-saving treatment.

His condition worsened before he could leave Norwich. He sadly died on February 7, 2021 aged 31, leaving behind his wife Victoria, stepson Finnley, now 14, and son Archie, who was six when his dad passed away.

Now, 14 months after his death, 40-year-old personal trainer development coach Mark will cover more than a marathon each day for a week in Jamie's memory in aid of the NHS, Widowed and Young, Winston's Wish and Miles4Meals, as well as the Norwich City and Manchester United Community Foundations - hoping to raise £100 for each charity each day of his journey.

Jamie Robinson's family ahead of Mark Laws' 201-mile run to Old Trafford in his memory

Jamie Robinson's family ahead of Mark Laws' 201-mile run to Old Trafford in his memory. L-R Jamie's stepson Finnley Docherty, Norwich City manager Dean Smith, son Archie Robinson (front), father-in-law Tony Laws, wife Victoria, brother-in-law Mark Laws, and mother-in-law Jane Laws and - Credit: Matthew Usher

He will carry one of Jamie's Manchester United shirts to Old Trafford to be signed by the team before bringing it back home.

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Mark's sister, Jamie's wife Victoria, said that "Mark's made us all really proud".

Mark Laws started his run toward Old Trafford via Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) at Carrow Road

Mark Laws started his run toward Old Trafford via Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) at Carrow Road - Credit: Paul Chesterton

The Wisbech teacher and mum-of-two added: "Jamie had a love of everything. He shared his love of football and brought my dad and son for a few games at Norwich. It's lovely that it's starting here and is going somewhere that means so much.

"Jamie was the life of everything. He made everything fun. He would count down to a weekend at Center Parcs like it was a trip to the Bahamas.

Jamie leave sbehind wife Victoria, stepson Finnley and son Archie

Jamie leave sbehind wife Victoria, stepson Finnley and son Archie - Credit: Robinson family

"He was like a Labrador puppy. He did everything for the kids. He had this amazing way of believing in everybody.

"That's how we want to lead our lives going forward. We need to love life and do it the Jamie way."

Mark Laws and his family outside of Carrow Road before his 201-mile run to Old Trafford in memory of his brother-in-law Jamie

Mark Laws and his family outside of Carrow Road before his 201-mile run to Old Trafford in memory of his brother-in-law Jamie - Credit: Paul Chesterton

Mark added: "Although I run 3-5k three to five times a week with the dog, I haven't done any training for this.

"I almost deliberately wanted to make this as physically hard as I can. It's mirroring our experience and heartbreak."

Mark's 201-mile route from Carrow Road to Old Trafford

Starting at Carrow Road on Sunday, April 10, Mark's route circles round to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital - where Jamie spent his final days - before leaving the city for Fakenham.

He will stay overnight there with his mother-in-law before heading for his hometown of Wisbech on Monday.

Mark Laws setting off for his 201-mile run from Carrow Road to Old Trafford, cheered on by his family

Mark Laws setting off for his 201-mile run from Carrow Road to Old Trafford, cheered on by his family - Credit: Paul Chesterton

Using B roads, backroads and footpaths, he will then head for Swineshead in Lincolnshire, near Boston, before pounding the pavement to Newark in Nottinghamshire, his Wednesday night pitstop.

Every ten miles, a family member or friend will meet Mark to replenish his water supply and give him a morale boost.

After Newark he will aim for Disley via Chesterfield, where he will be just 14 miles from Old Trafford in Stretford, Manchester on match day.

Canaries manager Dean Smith with Mark Laws, who is running from Carrow Road to Old Trafford in memory of Jamie Robinson

Canaries manager Dean Smith with Mark Laws, who is running from Carrow Road to Old Trafford in memory of his brother-in-law Jamie Robinson - Credit: Matthew Usher

A selection of friends will also run and walk - or limp - alongside Mark for legs of his journey.