LAST year Clare Critchley stood side by side with school colleagues in the Race for Life, this year they ran in her memory.

Staff and pupils from Southwold School, Holm Square, Bicester, took part in three separate Cancer Research UK events and have so far raised almost £1,000.

Earlier this month, Jo Stanley, Amanda Magnay, Tina Key, Jan Gwyn and Year Six students Katie Key and Megan Smith took part in the 5km Race for Life event in Oxford’s University Parks.

They ran in memory of “inspirational” headteacher Mrs Critchley, 54, who lost her battle against ovarian cancer in May this year, the day of her 30th wedding anniversary.

Mrs Gwyn said: “This is the third year staff have taken part in the Race for Life. Clare Critchley was the head of the school before she was diagnosed with cancer. Last year she joined the race but sadly this year she died in May.”

Mrs Critchley joined Southwold School in 2007, but retired in 2011 after the cancer she had beaten twice, in 2006 and 2009, returned.

When she died she was a governor at Chesterton School and a Fritwell church councillor.