A DAD and his 40-strong team of colleagues are leading the charge at the city’s annual Race for Life event in Winchester this weekend.

It comes as Cancer Research UK opens up the popular 5km fundraiser to men for the first time.

In previous years, 42-year-old father-of-two Lee Brimfield, from Abbotswood, has watched from the sidelines as his daughter Amy took part, helping to raise vital funds.

Now Lee will be joining hundreds of other men, women and children taking part in this years event on Sunday – and he’s calling on more people to join him.

Lee said: “Amy has done it before – several times – and I’ve always gone down and watched and supported her and helped dish out medals. I’ve always said it’s a real shame men can’t do it so was very pleased when I found out this year that it’s open to men.

“In the past, seeing all those ladies getting up and doing their bit always made me feel a bit jealous. Now this year, I’ll be joining them.”

Lee signed up through his employer Tesco, who are event sponsors. He’s one of around 40 members of staff at the Tesco Extra store in Winnall who will be heading down to North Walls Recreation Ground, near River Park Leisure Centre.

They’re running in memory of a former colleague, Debbie Thomas, who took part in Race for Life, even though she was terminally ill at the time.

Lee said: “Debbie’s team name was The Candy Flossies – I’ve no idea why – and the name’s just stuck. She was one of the first colleagues I knew who was diagnosed with cancer and In her final year of life, she managed to get round the 5km Race for Life. Everybody who went down to support her from Tesco walked around the barrier for her last 200m to encourage her.”

It will be a family affair for Lee, who’ll be joined by Amy and his son, Thomas, 12. Also joining him are former colleague Tammy Jenkins and members of her family – Lee’s close friends who he calls his ‘surrogate family’.

Tammy, who now works at Kings’ School, Winchester, is taking part with her children Hannah, 14, and Kieran, 12, as well as daughter Chloe, 20, her partner Jake and their one-year-old son, Alfie. Her husband, James, who works for South Central Ambulance Service, will be cheering them on from the vehicle.