Two local firefighters blew bystanders away at the Manchester Half Marathon this weekend after turning up to run the annual race not only in full gear but by dragging a dummy with them all the way around the 13.1 miles of the route.
A truly ridiculous achievement.
Firemen Daniel Jackson and Chris Prodromis, who serve at the New Mills and Chapel-en-le-Frith fire stations, respectively, set themselves the frankly ridiculous challenge of running the city’s second half marathon of the year in full firefighter gear and breathing apparatus.
But, in typically heroic fashion for our emergency responders, the pair didn’t just settle for wearing the already heavy and no doubt sweaty kit for the 21-km course, they also decided to carry a 50kg dummy in tow, leaving people standing roadside — ourselves included — utterly speechless.
This heartfelt endeavour was carried out as a tribute to their dear friend, Charlotte Jones, who was diagnosed in February this year with stage four bowel cancer, which ultimately spread to her lungs and liver.
Charlotte lived nearby in Glossop with her lifelong partner Colin and their baby son Maximus, who is only a year old. Charlotte married Colin in June but sadly passed away the following week aged just 32.
Charlotte grew up in New Mills with her best friend Stella Bennett; Stella’s partner is firefighter Dan, 38, who asked his good friend and colleague Chris (37), who lives not far in Dove Holes, to take part in their latest charitable effort.
The impressive pair have been completing all manner of inspirational fundraising feats over the last few years, taking on both the New York and Paris marathons, as well as climbing Everest and completing the Three Peaks challenge. Thankfully, they weren’t alone this time either.
After Charlotte passed away, Dan and Chris decided to start fundraising for Manchester-based charity, The Christie, where they’d witnessed the incredible support given to Charlotte and her family during her treatment.
“Charlotte was the best mummy to Max”, said Stella, “all she ever dreamed about was being a mum. We all miss her so much and have been left with such a huge void that will never be filled. A massive thank you to Christie’s for all the love and support that we and Charlotte received during this terrible time.”
Despite setting themselves an initial goal of just £500, Dan and Chris managed to raise more than five times that amount, with more and more people learning of their cause and plenty of those spectating on the day adding their donations via the QR codes printed on the back of their oxygen tanks.
Totalling out at £2,540 as of Monday morning, 16 October, the two incredible fundraisers should be immensely proud of themselves.
Josh from The Christie said, “We’re so grateful to them both for their fundraising for the Charity… Dan and Chris sincerely appreciate every donation, no matter how big or small, as it goes a long way in helping those in need and honouring the memory of their dear friend Charlotte.”
We are in awe of you, lads, not only for your charity work and this unreal effort on its own, but for the life-saving work you do day in and day out.
You can still donate to their ever-important cause and a beloved Manchester charity HERE.
Manchester United issue response after banning Manchester Evening News and select journalists from press conference
The Manchester Evening News (MEN) along with a number of sports journalists have reportedly been banned from attending a Manchester United press conference after publishing a story on an apparent rift at the club, claiming that manager Erik ten Hag has ‘lost the dressing room’.
Citing the reason behind the ban as being due to Chief Man United Writer and well-known sports reporter, Samuel Luckhurst’s recent story, which claimed that ten Hag is “losing the confidence” of his players, he and at least three other journalists won’t be in attendance after Sky Sports went so far as to suggest as much as “50%” of the dressing room.
It is thought that Sky‘s chief reporter Kaveh Solekhol, David McDonnell of The Mirror and ESPN‘s Rob Dawson are among the other individuals to have been barred from joining this afternoon’s presser as per instruction from United‘s Director of Media Relations and Public Affairs, Andrew Ward.
Issuing a statement to The Manc and journalists across the country, the club said: “We’re taking action against a number of news organisations today, not for publishing stories we don’t like, but for doing so without contacting us first to give us the opportunity to comment, challenge or contextualise.
“We believe this is an important principle to defend and we hope it can lead to a re-set in the way we work together.” It is unclear how long the suspension is set to be upheld but it is likely they will only serve a one-match ban — pardon the pun.
The MEN reiterated that the initial story was “multiply-sourced”, adding that they had not been banned as a result of previous stories that were largely seen as critical of the Man United head coach and/or his squad, including prior claims players were starting to “doubt” his tactics and managerial style.
Furthermore, the outlet goes on to state that several other journalists have claimed they were prevented from asking questions in press conferences by Ward in the past “over perceived negative coverage”, adding that the club have expressed their “regret” over having to issue the ban. The move has been welcomed by many fans, with several saying it is reminiscent of Sir Alex Ferguson’s hardline approach to the media.
Man United have made one of their worst starts to a campaign in decades and, despite winning their first trophy in six years under the Dutchman with an EFL Cup win last season, have unfortunately been breaking all manner of unwanted records of late.
ten Hag’s team suffered another disappointing loss against Newcastle at the end of November and now face another tricky task as they prepare to face a Chelsea side who are starting to gather some semblance of form.
Countless Reds and neutrals alike will no doubt now be tuning in for his pre-match press conference at 1:30pm ahead of the mid-week Premier League fixture against the West Londoners on Wednesday night (8:15pm kick-off).
The former Ajax manager has made no secret of the troubles he faced when he first arrived at Old Trafford but is clearly keen to avoid others from airing any of their rumoured dirty laundry.
Featured Images — The Manc Group/Manchester United
Adult film star and LGBTQ+ icon Sophie Anderson dies aged 36
Adult film star and much-loved LGBTQ+ icon Sophie Anderson has sadly died aged just 36, as confirmed by colleague, influencer and friend Rebecca More.
The recognisable UK porn star and internet personality, best known for being one-half of the viral online duo ‘C*ck Destroyers’ alongside More, was announced dead on Tuesday, 5 December following reports from numerous media outlets before being confirmed by her former co-star.
Sharing the news on social media, Rebecca wrote: “I’m devastated hearing the awful news of Sophie’s passing. We shared some amazing times together and that’s how I’m going to remember her.
She signed off by adding, “This is so tragic but I know you are now at peace. I will always, always love you and hold a special place in my heart”.
Her heartfelt sentiment was echoed online as countless people on social media have paid tribute to the viral sensation who was an advocate for the LGBTQIA+ community and all things queer culture, as well as sex positivity in general.
As mentioned, it was only on 17 November that her ex-partner Spedding himself passed away, but the former footballer was also disturbingly found to be the one behind previous claims she had died that turned out to be a hoax earlier this year.
Regardless, the news unfortunately appears to be genuine this time and it’s clear from the reaction online how saddened so many people from all walks of life are to learn of her passing.