Hartlepool runner who recovered from devastating crash set to run 28th Great North Run

Phil Holbrook with Hartlepool United mascot H'Angus after last year's Great North Run.
Phil Holbrook with Hartlepool United mascot H'Angus after last year's Great North Run.

A Hartlepool runner who had to learn to walk again after a horrific car crash is looking forward to completing his 28th Great North Run this weekend.

Phil Holbrook, and a group of staunch supporters, will once again raise money for Alice House Hospice under the banner of Team Sally Holbrook.

Phil Holbrook and members of Team Sally fundraising group on one of their annual 5k runs on the Headland in June.

Phil Holbrook and members of Team Sally fundraising group on one of their annual 5k runs on the Headland in June.

The hospice was a cause very close to the heart of Phil’s late wife Sally who died in a car crash just outside Hartlepool on December 23 in 2012.

Phil also suffered life-changing injuries in the accident.

To date the team has raised £20,000 for the work of the hospice and has led to Phil being nominated for a Pride of Britain Award.

His name has been put forward for the ITV Tyne Tees region’s Fundraiser of the Year.

Phil is hoping the team will raise another £5,000 for the hospice this year, with the Great North Run one of its biggest fundraisers.

He said: “We have a music night once a year at the Fisherman’s Arms on the Headland. We held one a month ago which raised £550 so that is a good start to this year’s fundraising.

“The Great North Run is a one-off. It’s the atmosphere that makes it different to other events.

“It is the biggest half marathon in the world.

“When you are lining up it is the equivalent of half of Hartlepool running with about 50,000 people. It is quite a sight to see.”

Phil started to assemble Team Sally in 2014. Sunday will be the team’s fifth Great North Run with different faces coming into the team each year.

New faces this year include Phil’s nephew Adam Holbrook who is travelling from Kent, Paul Fryer, and Lucy Speight and Karen Clovey who are colleagues of team stalwart Phil Dunn.

This week Mr Holbrook received a telephone call from ITV to inform him his name had been put forward for the Pride of Britain award.

He added: “It was completely out of the blue but it was nice to receive the nomination.

“A panel is currently cutting a long list of nominations down to a shortlist of four.”

Phil hopes the nomination will help to draw attention to the work of Team Sally and boost funds.

Anyone who wished to donate to the team for the Great North Run can do so at the website everydayhero.com and searching for Phil Holbrook, or click here