Rothwell greengrocer to run half marathon in memory of Alan Mills

Sean in his shop.
Sean in his shop.

A greengrocer in Rothwell will take on the Great North Run on Sunday (September 10) in memory of Alan Mills.

Sean Connolly’s shop, the Northampton Grocers in High Street, is next door to the home the councillor and Rowell Fair bailiff shared with his wife Karen until he died from a brain tumour in 2016.

Alan Mills at Rowell Fair.

Alan Mills at Rowell Fair.

Now Sean, 33, will run 13.1 miles in his memory in Newcastle to raise money for Brain Tumour Research.

Sean said: “Alan used to come into the shop with his dog to buy his weekly fruit and veg.

“We got talking after he asked if I had more pomegranates as his doctor had recommended their health benefits.

“That’s when he told me about his brain tumour and that he had been advised to eat healthier food.

“He was such a nice man and it was great that I got to know him and his family.

“I hope my efforts will help raise awareness of the current underfunding for research into brain tumours.”

Sean will be among thousands of runners taking part in the event, which is the world’s biggest half marathon.

A 35-strong team will be raising money for the pioneering charity Brain Tumour Research, which funds a network of centres of excellence where scientists are focused on improving treatments for patients and finding a cure.

Each day of research costs £2,740.

Suzanne McKenna, head of community fundraising (north) for Brain Tumour Research, said: “For too long, brain tumours have been a neglected cancer.

“Stories like Alan’s remind us all that we cannot allow this desperate situation to continue.

“Not many people know that brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer, yet just one per cent of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to this devastating disease.

“The charity is striving to fund a network of seven dedicated research centres whilst challenging the government and larger cancer charities to invest more in brain tumour research.

“We are extremely grateful to Sean and all our runners for raising such vital funds to help us find a cure for this horrible disease.”

To make a donation to Brain Tumour Research via Sean’s JustGiving page, click here.