A NEWPORT man who has spent decades raising money for Cancer Research UK has hit his impressive goal of raising £1 million for the charity by his 91st birthday.

Michael Locke was inspired to raise the money in the mid-1980s while driving his daughter home from her last chemotherapy session in London.

His wife, ex-Argus reporter Bridget Locke, set up a fundraising committee called the Newport and District Friends.

Today Mr Locke is still the secretary for The Newport Group of Friends of Cancer Research UK.

The Locke family have gone above and beyond in their attempts to raise as much money for the chairty as possible, including making and selling more than 2,000 jars of marmalade and setting up an annual golf day that has raised more than £250,000 across 30 years.

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Mr Locke was awarded an MBE by the Queen in 2007 for his efforts.

Mr Locke said: "In my eyes, I always said that the M was for me, Mike, the B was for Bridget my wife who is chair and founder of the group, and the E is for everybody else who has helped.

"It makes you feel you’ve done something towards the well-being of the world.

"It has given me a job without being paid for it which I’ve enjoyed because I think I’m doing something useful with my 30-year retirement.

"Sooner or later, we will beat cancer. We’re just helping to make it sooner rather than later."

While there was no specific fundraising goal in mind, as the family noticed milestones go by a plan was made so that Mr Locke would have raised £1 million by the time of his 90th birthday.

However, the Covid pandemic put a stop to this and Mr Locke amended his goal to hit his target before he reached 91.

Another golf day was held on July 7 (just after Mr Locke's 91st birthday) which tipped his fundraising total to more than £1 million over his life.

At the day, 64 teams took part and £20,483 was raised - including a sizable donation from an anonymous donor.

Mr Locke said: "As a family we are thankful to every single person involved in helping us reach our goal, without the community and our family and friends it would have been impossible.

"What has also touched us is the kindness shown by passers-by, who’ve supported the cause without knowing us personally. It has been a mammoth effort by all, and we hope that those involved also feel proud of this milestone achievement.  

"We did sponsored walks, various collections, marathon runners and even two young men cycled around the world for us. You name it, we did it."

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Now Mr and Mrs Locke plan to spend time with their three daughters and six grandsons, safe in the knowledge that they have made a remarkable contribution.

Michelle Mitchell, Cancer Research UK’s chief executive, said: "We’re incredibly grateful to Michael and his family for everything they have done over the decades to help support life-saving research.  

"The commitment and dedication they have shown is inspiring, and to reach the £1 million mark is a truly staggering achievement.  

"One in two of us will get cancer in our lifetime and we can all play a part to help beat it.

"Cancer Research UK’s pioneering work into the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer has helped save lives but this has only been possible thanks to the commitment of our supporters and volunteers, without whom we would be unable to fund outstanding scientists, doctors, and nurses."