Everest-conquering cancer patient Ian Toothill dies

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Image copyright Peter Whitfield
Image caption Sheffield Wednesday supporter Mr Toothill planted a flag belonging to rivals Sheffield United after a friend donated £1,000 to the appeal

A terminal cancer patient who conquered Mount Everest after being told he had only months to live has died.

Ian Toothill, 48, previously said he believed he was first cancer patient to scale the world's highest mountain.

The Sheffield Wednesday fan planted a flag of rivals Sheffield United - in a bid to boost donations to cancer charity Macmillan - when he reached the summit in June last year.

Friend Richard Barker described him as "a proper Sheffield lad".

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"I remember talking to him before the climb, and we were talking buckets lists... and he said 'I want to climb Everest'."

Mr Barker said: "Don't you remember you've got cancer?".

But then looked at his friend and said he thought "he is going to do it".

Image copyright Ian Toothill
Image caption Ian Toothill was told he had beaten bowel cancer - only for the disease to strike again

Announcing the news on Twitter on Thursday, Mr Barker thanked fans of both Sheffield football clubs for their support, prompting tributes from both sets of fans.

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One tribute read: "Simply a magnificent and inspirational human being - today we are all Sheffielders."

Fans also praised Mr Toothill for planting the "United flag" as a bet to boost his fundraising efforts.

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Mr Toothill, who was originally from Sheffield, but moved to Willesden Green, London, was unmarried and had no children.

He previously said he had always planned to climb Everest but had been forced to bring it forward.

"Sometimes life changes, and you just have to get after it," he said.

He reached the top of the North Col route on 16 May and the summit of Everest on 5 June, despite being hampered by storms, and having had his tent destroyed.

He also suffered snow-blindness and a temporary loss of vision - on the way down.

However, Mr Toothill, who was a personal trainer, said after the climb: "I still had a great time. I got the full Everest experience."

Image copyright Ian Toothill
Image caption Ian Toothill's tweet on 20 May said: "For those who with suffer daily because of cancer, I climb for you. For those who lost the battle with cancer and the friends and families left to pick up broken pieces, I climb for you."