Fitness community hold 'one last workout' in memory of 'great friend'

John Skinner, from East Harling, died on June 20 after a battle with cancer.

John Skinner, from East Harling, died on June 20 after a battle with cancer. - Credit: Melanie Ambrose

A town’s fitness community held “one last workout” in memory of a “great friend” and raised nearly £400 for a local hospice. 

Tiger Fitness and The Gym Van, based in Thetford, joined forces to pay tribute to their former client, John Skinner.

Mr Skinner, from East Harling, was a valued member of the team with both fitness trainers, Richard Taylor and Pete Gardner, who were “devastated” to hear of his death. 

outdoor workout and tribute event in memory of John Skinner.

Richard Taylor owner of Tiger Fitness and Pete Gardner owner of The Gym Van held an outdoor workout and tribute event in memory of John Skinner. - Credit: Pat Mitchell

The father-of-three, who had been a police officer for 25 years, died at the age 55 after he was diagnosed cancer. 

To pay tribute to this “friendly” and “hardworking” man, the pair put on a free event on Melford Common on Sunday July 11, for an outdoor workout and family fun, along with refreshments and games.  


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It was attended by around 35 people and they raised £396, through donations and 50pc of the profits made by the Tiger Tuckshop on the day.

The money has been given to the Priscilla Bacon Lodge - towards the build of a new hospice in Norwich – where Mr Skinner was cared for at the end of his life. 

outdoor workout and tribute event in memory of John Skinner in Thetford

Richard Taylor owner of Tiger Fitness and Pete Gardner owner of The Gym Van held an outdoor workout and tribute event in memory of John Skinner. - Credit: Pat Mitchell

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Mr Taylor said: “John was just a nice guy. Whenever you were in a class you knew he was there. He was friendly, he would chat to everyone and he was a hard worker. He would crack on with the workout. 

“It was a really lovely event and tribute to him and everyone had a good time. We had a fitness session which lasted over an hour and his wife Melanie visited.” 

Outdoor fitness event in memory of John Skinner in Thetford

Richard Taylor owner of Tiger Fitness and Pete Gardner owner of The Gym Van held an outdoor workout and tribute event in memory of John Skinner. - Credit: Pat Mitchell

Melanie Ambrose, his wife, added: “John was very interested in keeping fit and active, he did boot camp and HIIT classes.  

“He was always keen to support Pete in his new venture with the Gym Van and he used to go to Tiger Fitness as well. 

John Skinner, from East Harling, died on June 20 after a battle with cancer.

John Skinner, from East Harling, died on June 20 after a battle with cancer. - Credit: Melanie Ambrose

“It was a lovely day and I was so humbled by the amount of people who came and the amount that was raised. It was the most fitting tribute to John. He would have absolutely loved that. 

“Pete made a touching speech about John which made me cry. It was a very emotional day, because it was only three days after his funeral. But emotional in a good way.” 

outdoor workout and tribute event in memory of John Skinner.

Richard Taylor owner of Tiger Fitness and Pete Gardner owner of The Gym Van held an outdoor workout and tribute event in memory of John Skinner. - Credit: Pat Mitchell

Outdoor fitness event in memory of John Taylor in Thetford

Richard Taylor owner of Tiger Fitness and Pete Gardner owner of The Gym Van held an outdoor workout and tribute event in memory of John Skinner. - Credit: Pat Mitchell

Outdoor fitness event held in memory of John Skinner in Thetford

Richard Taylor owner of Tiger Fitness and Pete Gardner owner of The Gym Van held an outdoor workout and tribute event in memory of John Skinner. - Credit: Pat Mitchell

outdoor fitness event held in memory of john skinner in thetford

Richard Taylor owner of Tiger Fitness and Pete Gardner owner of The Gym Van held an outdoor workout and tribute event in memory of John Skinner. - Credit: Pat Mitchell


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