A rugby fan and former player from Bolton has set himself the incredible challenge of running six half-marathons in just over six months for the 2024 Six Nations in an effort to raise money for The ChristieNHS Foundation Trustand his late father.
Thomas Relph, a 37-year-old who previously represented local side Bolton RUFC, is taking his love of the gentleman’s game and the annual Six Nations tournament one step further by putting in nearly 80 miles between March and October on behalf of the local cancer research and treatment hospital.
Relph and his dad Mark, who he sadly lost to cancer in July last year, always shared a deep love affair with the game since Tom was a little kid, travelling all around the world to watch rugby along with his brother Oliver.
Speaking ahead of the challenge, Thomas said wanted to do something to honour his dad’s memory in a unique and inspiring way, as he explained: “After he died, I felt I needed to do something for The Christie as they cared for my dad so much… I felt I owed them, as they made it possible for my dad to meet his grandson and spend some quality time with him.
Explaining that he wanted to carry out some fundraising ever since his dad was diagnosed with colorectal cancer in January 2021, he said that “COVID-19 and a new-born son meant time soon got away from [him]” and his dad tragically passed aged 66 following a stroke and cardiac arrests.
Having already signed up to do a charity run in Cardiff with some of his mates, Tom thought, “Why not go beyond this and make it a proper challenge and do something that I know my dad would be proud of and in places that would mean something to him and me.”
With that in mind, he has now gone from doing 13.1 miles with a group of friends to now signing up for half-marathons in France, Ireland, Wales and Scotland, as well as one final homecoming run at the Manchester Half-Marathon to round off a whopping 126.5 kilometres.
In true Six Nations fashion as well, he went on to add, “Hopefully I’ll be enjoying a pint of Guinness after each race as a tribute to my dad.” You’re going to smash it Tom and we’ll be cheersing one up to your dad as well, don’t you worry.
His playing days back in Bolton might be behind him, but Thomas is taking his training seriously ahead of his first half-marathon in Paris on Sunday, 3 March and we can’t wait to welcome him home for the city centre run here in Manchester on Sunday, 13 October.
He’ll also have brother Oli joining him for the Manc run and as well as arranging a celebration in the city afterwards to toast their victory and their dad’s memory, they’re also hoping to raise over £6,000 (there’s a theme here) for the charity, having already surpassed £4.3k. Amazing.
Thomas signed off by saying: “The Christie is a truly exceptional facility that provided my dad with the care and support needed to initially beat cancer and later during its unfortunate return. My Dad’s sister Deborah was also treated there and they gave her some extra time to enable her to see me get married.
“She unfortunately died from a brain tumour a few years ago but was always a part of our lives growing up as a doting Auntie. So, The Christie really means a lot to our family and, hopefully, I can raise as much money as possible to support the cause.”
You can donate to Thomas’ JustGiving HERE and do your bit to help spur him whilst donating to the worthiest of causes. And if you’re still looking for where to watch the Six Nations in Manchester this year, don’t worry, you’re in the right place.
A look at the plans to turn historic Ancoats mill with rich musical heritage into new apartment complex
Hodder + Partners have just revealed new CGIs and a more detailed look at the plans for their redevelopment of the longstanding Brunswick Mill in Ancoats which is set to become a brand-new apartment complex.
The proposals to turn the once creative space with decades of musical heritage into a new residential site were revealed back in 2021 and approved within just a few months, despite having been met with plenty of resistance given its history and cultural significance.
Nevertheless, Northern company Big Red Construction recently kicked off the £50+ million renovation on behalf of developer Arrowsmith Investments and the apartments are projected to be finished in 2026.
With that in mind, the architectural designers Hodder have just released a new look at what Brunswick Mill is set to look like once completed:
The short trailer gives a glimpse at the history of the Brunswick Mill space and what it’s set to become.
Set to transform the historic industrial mill-turned-creative space and music studios on the edge of New Islington into 153 new apartments, ranging from one, two and three-bedroom residences, the redevelopment will be spread across two phases.
In line with designs by Hodder + Partners, the initial phase involves converting the existing mill building and the construction of new four and seven-storey elements to accommodate the remaining 127 homes on the Bradford Road plot in Ancoats.
Big Red Construction, who are also working on the Peelers Yard building for CERT Property and Myprotein founder Oliver Cookson, are expected to complete phase one by the first quarter of 2026.
Here’s another look at what living space people are already buying up:
The bathroom plans.‘New with the old’ bedroom-designs.A first look inside the Brunswick Mill flats. (Credit: Supplied)
Along with Hodder + Partners as architects, the project team also consists of HW Consultancy who are covering structural aspects, Manchester firm Clancy for mechanical and electrical considerations, as well as AM Pyro as fire engineers.
With property company Orlando Reid serving as estate agents for the project, 42 out of the 153 apartments have already been sold off-plan, with managing director Baljit Arora describing it as “an exciting period for all parties involved and for the city of Manchester”.
This is just the latest chapter in the continued regeneration of the Ancoats and the New Islington areas, which remain two of the most heavily re-developed areas in the city centre and Greater Manchester as a whole. You can see other hot properties in and around the region HERE.