Doncaster brothers' long and emotional day in memory of their dad

A love of golf – and a twist of fate – inspired John Waddoups and his family to take on Prostate Cancer UK’s Big Golf race last weekend.

Tuesday, 15th June 2021, 12:26 pm

The morning after his dad Brian passed away with prostate cancer, John Waddoups spotted a Facebook advert for the golfing challenge – and immediately signed up.

Diagnosed with prostate cancer in December, 2019, Brian sadly passed away on March 24, 2021, and less than 24 hours later John spotted an advert for Prostate Cancer UK’s Big Golf Race, and took that as fate to sign up.

And his brothers Phil, aged 51, and Peter, aged 45, quickly made it a family three-ball a week before Father’s Day.

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John and his brothers with a photo of their dad

John said: “I’d heard of the Big Golf race but the morning after my dad passed away I went on Facebook and it was the second thing I saw on there that morning.

“It just felt like a sign for something I could do to give back and try and help make that

difference, so I instantly signed up for it for myself. Then later I asked my brothers if they wanted to also do it with me which they did.”

Golf would be a game that bonded the family, with Brian leading the way on their love of the game.

Enjoying the sunshine

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John added: “What makes the Big Golf Race different for us is that it is poignant to our story. We are all golfers, albeit not good ones, but we all share a love of the game. Our dad was the same. He wasn’t a great player either but enjoyed the game, like us. He loved to watch it and talk to us about our games too.

“My older brother Phil played golf first but only got back into it about four years ago and Peter only recently took it up about two or three years ago. I’ve been playing for about 20 years, on and off, but before lockdown played regularly again with Phil. We are all pretty similar in scores; they are big six-footers who hit long balls, but I have the short game to keep up!”

The trio, whose team name is ‘Tee for Brian’ tackled four circuits of the Thornhurst Manor Golf club near Doncaster on Saturday, June 12, and have already raised in excess of £1,731.

On the green

The trio started their adventure at 5am and finished the 72nd, and final ,hole at 9pm.

John said: “It was a long and emotional day, but an amazing day too. We had such a great day; we all were feeling it the next day but the energy on the day was immense.

“It was an emotional day for us all and we all thought about dad a lot, and we all went round with pride knowing how well we had done for an amazing charity. There’s still a bit more money to come in yet too and hopefully it will also make men more aware of their risks and those signs to look out for. We don’t want any family to have to go through what we have gone through this past couple of years.”

They used balls aplenty – and midway through their final round, there was a double-digit tally that ended up in a watery grave.

He added: “We didn’t score the games, we just wanted to get round and enjoy our game and not be put off by scoring and watching it get worse as the day went on. My brother Peter hit the shot of the day, a 50-yard chip that almost went in.

“The course was great and they really looked after us and fitted us in really well.

“It was a really long and tiring day, but we all found some energy in the final nine holes and I reckon I could have managed another 18 if the light allowed.

"As we went up the 18th for a fourth time my partner sent me a picture of us and my dad, and that reduced me to tears.

“I could barely putt my ball into the hole.”

The story in full: Brian’s mum died of bowel cancer, but John and his brothers had not experienced cancer in any form until December 2019.

That’s when their dad was diagnosed with aggressive prostate cancer at the age of 83 and the news was described as ‘heart-breaking’ by John.

John said: “When we heard about dad’s prostate cancer the reaction was very mixed,

veering from anger and heartbreak followed by the realisation that we had to hurry and make as many memories as possible before he was stripped from us.

“After some initial determination to beat it, the terminal diagnosis was so hard to digest. You suddenly hear your dad is going to die and that there is nothing you can do apart from try and slow it down.

"That was tough.

“Our dad was the most laid-back person you could meet he was also always the best person to learn from he had the patience of a saint.

“He was a wood machinist by trade, and was superb with his hands and could turn them to do anything. He also made model ships trains and boats and he painted also we all have lots of fantastic paintings from him.”

You can still sponsor John please visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/john-waddoups2

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Liam Hoden, editor.