Rugby Team Mates Tackle Great Manchester Run For Tom

Rugby players plan to end their season with a special tribute to a team-mate who tragically died three weeks after he became a dad. 

Full back Tom Thornton lost his battle with cancer of the appendix just over a month ago shortly after the birth of son Maxwell Joseph. 

Now members of Rochdale Rugby Union Football Club have entered the Morrisons Great Manchester Run on Sunday, May 10, to raise funds for a special trust fund set up in Tom's name. 

Friends and family will also be out in force at the 10k event in honour of Tom who was diagnosed only nine weeks before he died aged 25.  

Hooker and close friend Jacob Smith said: "We've already got 27 runners and the more we get the better. We're aiming to raise as much as we can for the trust fund which supports Maxwell and his mum Chantelle."

More than £1,300 was donated within days of the fund being set up. Tom, a personal trainer, lived in Middleton after he was raised in Rochdale.  

Tom proposed to Chantelle after he was diagnosed and they married on December 20.  Chantelle said: "There are absolutely no words to describe the pain, emptiness and heartbreak I feel right now. With time to grieve I only pray it gets easier.

"In his final few weeks Tom was cared for by Springhill Hospice and they were amazing. We can't thank them enough for what they did for him and the whole family and they allowed me to move into the hospice with him."

Tom's mum Vanessa said: "Tom was an amazing, inspirational young man with everything to live for. He touched so many lives in so many ways."

To donate to the fund go to

The Morrisons Great Manchester Run attracts up to 40,000 entrants and is Europe's biggest 10k Run. To enter go to