Claire Squires death at the London Marathon becomes a spectator sport
NO little shock at Claire Squires’ death at the London Marathon. The 30-year-old from North Kilworth, Leicestershire died on Birdcage Walk, not far from the finishing line. Her death is the tenth since the London Marathon began in 1981.
It is not yet know why she died.
Claire Squires is on the front pages of the Daily Express, Daily Mail, Guardian, Daily Telegraph and The Times.
Claire Squires was running for The Samaritans. Her mother Cilla has been involved with The Samaritans for 24 years.
So. Mrs Squires was a volunteer for the Samaritans well before her son died – Claire Squires’ older brother Grant took heroin and anti-depressants before he died aged 25 in 2001; a fact repeated in all newspapers. Yet, the Mail make the link and says Ms Squires’ run was a “legacy of love”.
Claire Squires’ parents have not spoken to the press. They have not asked people to give generously. The donations have been spontaneous. When she set off on the London Marathon, Claire Squires had raised £635 from 32 people. (Anyone who thinks that is not all that much has never tried to get sponsors.) At the time of writing, she has raised £247,154.31 from 2,496 people.
But still the Mail wants a story. So it creates one from the ether:
Friends believe her decision to raise money for the Samaritans – which offers support to people in distress – was partly inspired by the memory of her brother.
But Mail writers Katherine Faulkener and Larisa Brown do not name the “friends”. They do not explain why in March 2011, Ms Squire raised money for the Royal Air Force when she climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. Was her brother in the RAF? Maybe they can aks the “friends”.
The Mail’s writers have keen eyes that they can explain the thinking of woman who died. How’s that for honouring the dead?
The Mirror prefers to go with the heroic:
The ultimate sacrifice: Charity cash pours in for London Marathon runner who died trying to help others
Ms Squires did not sacrifice herself. She went on a run, and in completing her personal challenge she aimed to also rise money and help others.
Her parents and loved ones would do well do dodge the media as they come to terms with their grief. They only pretend to have known her…
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