A JEDBURGH property designer is pulling on his trainers in memory of his best friend.

Alasdair Mcilroy will tackle the Scottish Half Marathon next month.

And every step the 47-year-old will take will be in tribute to the friend he lost to cancer last year.

Alasdair was heartbroken after Des Devine died aged just 54 in October.

The pair were firm friends for decades sharing a love for golf, rugby, rallying, cricket and football, as well as both being members of Hawick Opera Company.

And on Des’ wedding day at the Roxburghe Hotel in 2008, Alasdair was best man.

Now Alasdair has pledged to tackle the Scottish Half Marathon on September 22 to raise funds for Cancer Research UK.

Alasdair, who is a design manager for a housing developer, has already taken part in the Great North Run and the Scottish Kilomathon.

He said: “Des had an immeasurable impact on so many lives including my own and I was honoured to be his best man on his wedding day.

“His zest for life was all too obvious with every single thing he did.

"He loved sport and socialising. He took challenges on with positivity and as long as people continue to remember him, speak of him and love him then Des will never truly be gone.

"His battle with cancer was faced up to with great dignity.

"Through his fight, he was still more interested in everyone else’s life and plans.

"The finish line of the Scottish half marathon will be an emotional moment of personal reflection and I’ll dedicate my efforts to Des.”

Des, who moved from the Borders to Inverness in 2004, was diagnosed with bowel and liver cancer in October 2013 - five weeks before his 50th birthday.

Des had two major operations as well as chemotherapy and by the end of summer 2014 was well enough to return to his love for sport, travelling, music and drama.

The talented musician was a singer with the Rooty Ma Toot Big Band and also a keen member of the Inverness Musical Theatre company and the Florians drama club.

But last year cancer spread to his bones and he died at the Highland Hospice, Inverness with his wife Sasha by his side.

Sasha, 47, later spoke movingly at a fundraising dinner for Highland Hospice on how the staff there had been a lifeline for them.

And she also paid tribute to her husband's friend, Alasdair.

Sasha said: “Alasdair was a great support to both of us when Des got ill.

“Des was an only child but he always said that Alasdair was like a brother to him.

"Des always said he was determined to make the cancer fit around him and not the other way round. We did so much in those five years after he was diagnosed.

"We travelled to Mexico, skied in Austria three times, visited Paris and our favourite city, Barcelona. We made so many good memories.

“Despite the huge, gaping Des shaped hole in my world, I feel incredibly lucky and privileged that Des was in my life at all, let alone my best friend and husband.

"Des was unique and completely irreplaceable and had a huge influence and impact on so many people through out his life.”

Alasdair will join thousands taking part in the Scottish Half Marathon on September 22 which starts at Meadowmill Sports Centre and finishes at Musselburgh Racecourse.

Cancer Research UK is the official charity for the event which also includes the option of a 10K run.

To support Alasdair's fundraising visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/alasdair-mcilroy2