Pools boss Colin’s on run for son

Hartlepool boss Colin Cooper and team mascot H'Angus the monkey are running the Great North Run for the Finlay Cooper Fund.'Picture by Tom Banks 22-08-13

Hartlepool boss Colin Cooper and team mascot H'Angus the monkey are running the Great North Run for the Finlay Cooper Fund.'Picture by Tom Banks 22-08-13

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THERE will be little time for Hartlepool United boss Colin Cooper to relax after today’s vital clash with Accrington Stanley.

For he will immediately turn his attentions to completing tomorrow’s Great North Run in memory of his tragic son, Finlay, who died 11 years ago in a choking accident.

Trimdon-born Colin, 46, will be joined by 41 other runners representing the Finlay Cooper Fund.

They include club mascot H’Angus, alias Michael Evans, who will be completing the 13.1-mile course in his monkey costume, and Pools youth development officer John Hewitson. Money raised will be distributed to children’s charities across Teesside. Colin, whose team today face the only club beneath them in League 2, has again thanked runners and sponsors for supporting the fund.

He said: “The support we’ve had is great.

“We’ve got 42 runners for the Finlay Cooper Fund and, for a charity of our size, that’s phenomenal.

“The majority of us will travel up from Teesside on Sunday morning and get a nice team-shot memento.

“That’s an emotional thing for me.

“To have an extra 41 people alongside me, including H’Angus, is a big deal for me.

“So I thank every one of them from the bottom of my heart and I’m looking forward to it.”

Finlay was only two when he died in 2002 after choking on a screw which had fallen from a child’s chair at the family’s home near Knaresborough.

The fund was launched in 2006 by Colin and wife Julie after the former Middlesbrough, Millwall and Nottingham Forest defender retired as a player.

Among the causes it has helped since are Butterwick House Children’s Hospice, in Stockton, and the children’s diabetes unit at Middlesbrough’s James Cook University Hospital.

As for fitting his training in around Pools’ hectic schedule, Colin added: “I did a 10-mile training run on Wednesday.

“Hopefully I’ll let my body recover because it’s hurting and I’m sure I’ll be okay.

“I’m really looking forward to it now I’ve managed to get that 10 miles in my legs.”

Donations can still be made at www.virginmoneygiving.com/hangusmonkey.

lAre you among the estimated 54,000 competitors running from Newcastle to South Shields tomorrow?

Why not email us your time and pictures to mail.news@northeast-press.co.uk or post them on Twitter using the hashtag #GNRmail?