The wife of a much-loved Merton businessman who died last month will be taking on Nightwalk in his memory.

Tracey Laughton will be supported by more than 20 friends and family walking for North Devon Hospice in memory of her husband Chris.

Chris, who ran Taw & Torridge Coaches, passed away at North Devon Hospice last month after a short battle with cancer.

What started with a pain in his side in October 2018, and was initially diagnosed as cholecystitis, ended up being terminal cancer in his bowel and abdomen.

After three rounds of chemotherapy, and several distressing stays in hospital, it was suggested Chris should be admitted to North Devon Hospice's bedded unit.

Chris and Tracey Laughton.Chris and Tracey Laughton.

Tracey, 48, said: “He really wasn't sure, and neither was our eldest son, George, because we didn't' know what to expect.

“But looking back now I don't know what we would have done without the hospice.

“As soon as we arrived it felt like home, and the whole family were welcome to stay because they had room for us all.

“I could be by his side the whole time and was able to lie next to him and hold his hand when he passed away.”

READ MORE: Widow shares how hospice helped her ahead of Nightwalk

Chris' children George, 19, and Harry, 16, managed to enjoy special moments with their dad at the hospice before his death.

Some 450 people attended the much-loved businessman's funeral, and Tracey said his community spirit lives on in the Nightwalk team.

Tracey said: “We have 24 people currently in our team, and they are all family or friends of Chris, who want to do something in support of the hospice now they have seen the care they provide.

“The team will be called 'Chris' RoadStars', after his beloved Roadster car.

“He was restoring the car when he became ill, and sadly never got to see it finished, but when we were at the hospice the nurses suggested that we make videos of it to show him.

“So we filmed my dad working on the car and Chris loved seeing how it was coming along, being part of it even from a distance.”

She added: “This has been an incredibly difficult few months, as everything has happened so fast.

“But the hospice helped make it easier for us all, and I know they will be there for me in the future too with counselling and other support.”

Join Tracey, and more than 1,000 other local women, at Nightwalk on Saturday, May 18.

The ladies-only moonlit walk offers routes of 3, 7 or 11 miles along the Tarka Trail, with start points at Barnstaple, Instow, Bideford and Torrington. Sign up online here.