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News > Alumni > TRIBUTE TO SIMON OFFEN (1986, PGCE)


Archie Blanchard, Simon Offen’s godson, talks about running the London Marathon in his memory.
18 Apr 2024
Archie Blanchard with the tree planted in Simon's memory
Archie Blanchard with the tree planted in Simon's memory

On Sunday 21 April I ran the London Marathon on behalf of Cancer Research UK in memory of my godfather, Simon Offen, who sadly passed away from cancer last year. All who knew Simon will remember him for his generosity, kindness, mischievous sense of fun, and his famously strong gin and tonics.

I was incredibly fortunate to have Simon as my godfather. Not only was he great fun, but he was also a great mentor who taught me some invaluable life lessons. Simon was a very talented chef and an extraordinary host, something I always looked up to him for and I'm particularly grateful to him for teaching me how to cook.

Christ Church's decision to plant a tree in Simon's memory (pictured) is a touching gesture that he would have appreciated. He always spoke so highly of the College and it was fitting that the Cathedral was filled to capacity for his memorial service. It was clear from conversations I had with students and professors at his memorial service the impact he had as Deputy Development Director.

In running the marathon, I hoped to raise as much money in his memory as possible but also want to use this to prolong Simon's legacy to remember what a truly wonderful human being he was. I hope that many glasses will be raised in his honor to reminisce about the cherished memories we all shared. 

A brilliant effort, on a very emotional day, saw Archie finish in 3 hours 12 minutes – and over £6600 raised for Cancer Research UK in Simon's memory. 




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