St Albans teenager shaves head to honour family friend who died of cancer in Australia

PUBLISHED: 14:19 21 August 2018 | UPDATED: 09:57 22 August 2018

Spencer having his head shaved. Picture: Jim Whittamore

Spencer having his head shaved. Picture: Jim Whittamore


A selfless teenager from Colney Heath has shaved off all his hair to honour the memory of a family friend who died of cancer.

Spencer with his family. Picture: Jim WhittamoreSpencer with his family. Picture: Jim Whittamore

Allan Root was living with his wife Emma and son Thomas in Australia in May 2014 when he lost a nine month battle with cancer.

By the time he died, tumours had spread across much of his body.

To honour Allan’s memory and to raise money for cancer research, Emma and Thomas this year put forward a cycling group called Team Fred for the Perth Ride to Conquer Cancer.

This is a two day, 200km cycling event which raises money for a scientific research lab called the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research.

Spencer before his charity shave Picture: Jim WhittamoreSpencer before his charity shave Picture: Jim Whittamore

As a family friend, 14-year-old Verulam School student Spencer Wiltshire was disappointed that he could not join Team Fred on the other side of the world and instead decided to raise money by going bald here in the UK.

Clint Wiltshire, Spencer’s dad, said: “He has done fund raising before and it’s just another one he wanted to do, and he’s young enough that his hair grows back quickly!

“We are very proud of him, he’s a good kid. He’s quite enjoyed having a shaved head because it’s nice and cool for him.”

Spencer has already raised about £1,200 for the Harry Perkins institute and other charities.

Spencer having his head shaved. Picture: Jim WhittamoreSpencer having his head shaved. Picture: Jim Whittamore

In the past he has held cake sales for various causes, including children’s charities and for motor neurone disease.

When Spencer turns 16 he would like to do a sponsored skydive, but this has not been finalised.

Clint said Allan was best-man at his wedding and Godfather to his eldest son, Spencer’s 26-year-old brother. Allan would have been 51 this year.

“He was hard working and very sincere. He was my best friend since we were 13-years-old - we grew up together,” Clint added.

Hairdresser Kelly Ward shaved Spencer at Colney Heath Football Club on July 31.

Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research is Australia’s leading adult medical research centre, with more than 250 scientists working to defeat major diseases. For more information, visit

The Perth Ride to Conquer Cancer takes place from October 13 to 14. For more information, visit

To donate to Spencer’s shave, email Clint on

More news stories

23 minutes ago

A large pile of wood, foliage, building waste, and rotten food has been fly-tipped onto a country road in St Albans.


A life-size Tommy has been installed in Chiswell Green to mark 100 years since the end of the First World War.


Have you been the victim of a car theft in which a sat nav was stolen?


An artist trained in St Albans has donated his work to a hospital ward after treatment.


St Leonard’s Church in Sandridge is holding a Harvest Festival service with farmers and their families.

Digital Edition

Read the The Herts Advertiser e-edition E-edition
Zoo Watch CountryPhile

Newsletter Sign Up

Herts Advertiser weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read stories

Show Job Lists

Herts Most Wanted Herts Business Awards