Alasdair Mcilroy will be taking part in his first half marathon dedicating every step to his best friend who died from cancer last year

Alasdair Mcilroy is taking on the Scottish Half Marathon in Edinburgh next month in aid of Cancer Research UK and in memory of pal Des Devine who died aged just 54 last October.

The pair were firm friends for decades sharing a love for sports including golf, rugby, rallying, cricket and football.

They were both members of Hawick Opera Company and when Des married his wife Sasha at Heiton’s Roxburghe Hotel in 2008, Alasdair was best man.

“Des had an immeasurable impact on so many lives including my own and I was honored to be his best man on his wedding day,” Alasdair, 47, said.

“His zest for life was all too obvious with every single thing he did. He loved sport and socializing.

“He took challenges on with positivity and as long as people continue to remember him, speak of him and love him then Des will never truly be gone. His battle with cancer was faced up to with great dignity.

“Through his fight, he was still more interested in everyone else’s life and plans.

“The finish line of the Scottish half marathon will be an emotional moment of personal reflection and I’ll dedicate my efforts to Des.”

Des, who moved from the Borders to Inverness in 2004, was diagnosed with bowel and liver cancer in October 2013, five weeks before his 50th birthday. After two major operations and chemotherapy he was well enough to return to his love for sport, traveling, music and drama by summer 2014.

A talented musician, he was a singer with the Rooty Ma Toot Big Band and also a keen member of the Inverness Musical Theater company and the Florians drama club.

But last year cancer spread to his bones and he died at the Highland Hospice, Inverness with his wife Sasha by his side.

posted Monday August 12th
by Kathryn Wylie