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Charity helped through the bad times - Ronnie Brooks' widow

PUBLISHED: 15:00 15 April 2010 | UPDATED: 09:44 02 July 2010

Stephanie Brooks (pictured) has raised money in memory of her husband Ronnie who died of cancer and has suffered from breast cancer herself.

Stephanie Brooks (pictured) has raised money in memory of her husband Ronnie who died of cancer and has suffered from breast cancer herself.

Kim Briscoe

The widow of a much-loved figure in Norfolk sport has told how a cancer charity has helped her though the bad times.

Friends and family of former Norwich City Football Club chief scout Ronnie Brooks raised almost £1,200 in his memory, which will be donated to Big C - the cancer charity for Norfolk and Waveney.

The widow of a much-loved figure in Norfolk sport has told how a cancer charity has helped her though the bad times.

Friends and family of former Norwich City Football Club chief scout Ronnie Brooks raised almost £1,200 in his memory, which will be donated to Big C - the cancer charity for Norfolk and Waveney.

Mr Brooks, who also worked as manager of Norwich Lads' Club, died at the age of 78 in January this year, just a few weeks after being diagnosed with terminal cancer.

His wife Stephanie, 58, said he had always thought flowers were a waste at a funeral and would have been pleased to know that instead hundreds of pounds would be going towards the charity which had helped her to battle breast cancer.

Mrs Brooks' cancer was picked up by a routine mammogram in 2008. She had a lumpectomy, followed by six months of chemotherapy, three doses of radiation and a year of taking Herceptin.

The grandmother-of-four from Hevingham said: “Ronnie always supported me and said he would see me through the treatment right to the end. And he did because my last treatment was the day of his funeral.”

Although Mr Brooks was too ill after he was diagnosed to visit Big C's information and support centre at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, Mrs Brooks said she had been helped enormously by its resources and its staff.

She said: “You walk through the doors and there's this sense of tranquillity and caring and everybody there is in the same position.

“I was terrified when I first went to get my wig fitted after losing my hair through chemo but then I met these amazing people who run the place and made me feel so relaxed and they were so kind to me.

“They also offered me the complementary therapy so I could go and have a massage or reflexology.

“They realise I have been through some bad times and they have allowed me to have a bit of 'me time'.

“They are marvellous people and there just isn't a word to describe how wonderful they have been.”

Mr Brooks, who was a former Norwich City councillor and Sheriff of Norwich, first started feeling lethargic and lost his appetite in June last year. He went to the doctor in October, was diagnosed with terminal cancer during November and December and died at the start of January. His funeral at Norwich Cathedral was attended by hundreds of people from Norfolk's sporting community, including boxers Herbie Hide, Jon Thaxton and Sam Sexton and Norwich City legends Bryan Gunn and Robert Fleck.

Mrs Brooks said: “It took me a while to persuade him to go to the doctor and in the end I had to lie to him and tell he had a diabetic check.

“I do wonder if he had done to the doctor earlier if he would still be with us.

“People must not be frightened to get themselves checked out for any similar little ailments.”

Do you have a story for the Evening News? Contact reporter Kim Briscoe on 01603 772419 or email kim.briscoe@archant.co.uk.

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