Run in memory of tragic Tony

Fundraiser Matthew Smith.

Fundraiser Matthew Smith.

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A SPORTY teenager is set to compete in a long distance charity run in memory of a family member who died aged just 41.

Matthew Smith, 18, will tackle the BUPA Great North 10k Run this weekend in a bid to raise hundreds of pounds for Cancer Research UK in memory of cousin-in-law Tony Salvin.

Tony Salvin

Tony Salvin

Devoted Hartlepool dad Tony died after a 15-month battle with stomach cancer in March this year.

His death came 16 years after his first son, three-year-old Anthony, died when he drowned in a freak swimming pool accident while on holiday in Majorca in September 1993.

The BUPA Great North 10k Run is due to take place tomorrow in Gateshead and Matthew is aiming to complete the course in 50 minutes.

Matthew, who has just completed the first year of a sports development course at Teesside University, said: “Tony was a really kind man, he had a lot of friends and he kept himself active.

“He was a good husband, a good father and it was just so sad when he died.

“I would like to thank everybody that has helped me raise more than £1,000 so far and I just hope to raise as much as possible.

“It would be great to raise a nice amount of money and to also help raise awareness of the work done by Cancer Research UK.

“I am looking forward to the challenge.

“It is the first time I have done anything like this, but I am hoping to complete it in about 50 minutes,” added the teenager, who lives in Victory Gardens, off Brierton Lane.

Matthew’s original target was £1,000, but he has already smashed that and is now hoping to raise as much as possible.

Tony fought a courageous 15-month battle against stomach cancer, 16 years after he suffered the heartache of losing Anthony.

Following the youngster’s death, Tony went on to have another son, Ryan, before meeting his wife of nine years Annalisa, 36, and becoming dad to Kieran, Reiss and Amy.

l To sponsor Matthew visit http://www.runningsponsorme.org/smudger14