Diamonds for Flower Man Treasure hunters inspired by Mark’s talk
CHELTENHAM’S ‘Flower Man’ Mark Morris said he wants to spend the short time he has left with his two sons in heartbreaking speech to launch this year’s Beards Diamond Rush
Mark came straight from a family holiday in Turkey to launch the charity treasure hunt which will help raise money to help people like him who have been diagnosed with the crippling Motor Neurone Disease.
Standing with ex-wife Rebecca Gill, and children Alfie, aged eight, and Jay, aged 18, by his side, the well-known figure broke down as he said all he wanted to do was spend time the time he had left with his family.
“All I want to do is spend time with these two,” he two he said of his sons.
“They are the most important things in my life. Always have been and always will be.”
Breaking down in tears he urged around 1,000 people who turned out to see the launch to tell their families how much they loved them and put some effort into their relationships “before time runs out”.
And afterwards, clearly exhausted from his speech, the 49-year-old told
how he and his sons had drawn up bucket list of memories to create before he dies.
“Jay understands but I think it’s more difficult for Alfie to take in because he’s that bit younger,” he said. “His grandfather died four or five years ago so I tell him that I’m going to see his granddad.
“I’ve been quite lucky to have had my own business so I have travelled a lot in my life and done things like bungee jumping, but being with them is so much more important than any of that.
“We do have a bucket list but for me it’s all about spending time with the boys and making sure they are OK.”
The Flower Man is best known for his stall in the Promenade in Cheltenham which he has had for the past 14 years and says the support he has had from the town since news of his illness broke has been “unbelievable”.
Cheltenham Town manager Michael Duff also attended the Diamond Rush paid tribute to Mark saying he had done the flowers for his wedding and many family members since.
He said he was particulary shocked by the diagnosis because Mark is the type of person who was in the gym a lot.
Beards’ managing director Alex Rose said: “When I heard about his situation it just pulled at my heartstrings.
“This was the only positive thing I could do. At first I was thinking of raising money for Mark and his family but he asked us to do it for the MND Association.
“It’s lovely to see how many people have come out today to support him.”
The rush saw nine diamonds worth £1,000 were hidden across the town and surrounding area, for people to find in a luxurious treasure hunt.
First winners home Rachel and Emma Timbrell with Sophie Cudworth from Beards
The Flower Man Mark Morris and his family, ex-wife Rebecca Gill, Alfie Morris and Jay Morris
First in the queue were Courtney Gough, Zoe Parkes and Charlotte Fletcher