An 18-year-old girl is taking on the London marathon to make her grandad proud.

Tottenham Hotspur football coach Molly Elliott, 18, is set to run the Virgin Money London Marathon in October for Macmillan Cancer Support.

The Walthamstow teen is running in memory of her granddad Ron Searle, who died of cancer in 2019, aged 81.

Molly, who studies sports science at Epping Forest College and is a coach for the Spurs global football development programme and girls talent pathway, says: “I just feel so lucky that I now have the opportunity to raise money to help families affected by cancer too.

East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Molly pictured with her Granddad Ron, in 2019.Molly pictured with her Granddad Ron, in 2019.

“It is the least I could do to say thank you to this amazing charity for the care, compassion and love they gave to my grandad and my family. We all are forever grateful.”

Molly’s granddad was diagnosed in 2018 at St Bartholomew’s Hospital with mesothelioma – a form of cancer often linked to asbestos exposure - and after receiving palliative care at Whipps Cross Hospital, died a year later.

Explaining how important he was to her, Molly says: “My granddad, or Baccy as I have always called him, was my best friend - words will never be able to justify how incredible he was.

“My Baccy loved jazz music, roll up cigarettes and a pint or two at his local.

“He was the glue of our family and without him here, there will always be an empty space, I feel so lucky that I got to call him my granddad.”

East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Molly as a baby with grandad "Baccy"Molly as a baby with grandad "Baccy"

“All I want to do now is make him proud of me, which I hope I am doing every day.

“I hope he is always looking down on me as I will always look up to him.”

You can sponsor Molly via her Virgin Money page here.