George Nicholson

Battling runner George Nicholson is up for award

Paul Loraine

This article is reproduced from, with the kind permission of Colin George, Multimedia Editor, and was originally published online here on March 30th, 2009

George Nicholson with his wife Anne.George Nicholson with his wife Anne.

FOR George Nicholson, missing a Great North Run is unthinkable.

The 61-year-old has taken part in every single run since the event was launched in 1981 – even after suffering serious complications to an operation and contracting MRSA.

His determination has benefited a number of charities and, most poignantly, the hospice that cared for his late granddaughter Emily, who died from a rare degenerative disease, metachromatic leukodystrophy, aged just five.

His triumph over adversity won him a Spirit of South Tyneside award in 2005 and now his efforts have earned him a nomination for the BUPA Great North Run Award, in association with The Journal.

Mr Nicholson said: “I’m a bit gobsmacked to be nominated. It’s a lovely thought and obviously I’m very pleased.”

Mr Nicholson, of Northside, Shadforth, County Durham, fell seriously ill when a minor operation in 2005 went wrong, causing problems with internal bleeding and peritonitis.

For the next two years, he was in and out of hospital 15 times, having six further operations and contracting MRSA.

“My wife being a nurse, she always wanted to know if I was fit enough,” he said “I was determined to keep doing it though.

“I’m running again this year for the Acorn’s Children’s Hospice in Walsall, who looked after Emily. Initially we tried to raise money to fund her care but sadly she died before Christmas 2006. The hospice does such a great job though and we are continuing to support it.” George’s wife Anne, 62, a community nurse, said her husband was well-deserving of the nomination. She said: “His first question to the surgeons was always ‘will I be fit in time for this year’s run?’.

The BUPA Great North Run Award, in association with The Journal, will be presented at The BUPA Great North Run Hall of Fame Charity Dinner at the Gateshead Hilton Hotel on April 7.

The presentation from Sue Barker.The presentation from Sue Barker.

An article, and video, on the presentation are online here.


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