World Champion Boxer Picks ‘Army’ For Manchester

Entries are open for the Great Manchester Run – visit

World Champion boxer Anthony Crolla has chosen the runners who will join him in the ‘Crolla's Army' team taking on this year's Great Manchester Run together, just weeks after defending his WBA Lightweight World Title against Ismael Barroso in the city, on 7th May. 

Anthony picked a 12-strong team (one for every round of a professional boxing bout) with a range of important personal reasons for joining Crolla's Army, including:

  • A runner who has beaten stage four cancer
  • A sister wanting to thank Crolla for dedicating his World Title to her brother James Barrett, who lost his cancer battle
  • First-time runners and amateur boxers looking for a confidence boost and new challenge

Manchester's Greatest Run takes place on Sunday 22nd May with 40,000 runners challenging themselves over 10km through closed city centre streets. Anthony will be on the start line to run with his team mates and meet them at the finish. 

The World Champion will now get together his team for a training session and will provide support and encouragement in their training. On the day the team will wear branded Crolla's Army running shirts, and be joined by Anthony at the start and finish line of the event for last minute pep-talks and to ensure they have their Greatest Manchester Run. 

Announcing who he had picked for Crolla's Army, Anthony Crolla said:  “After so many fantastic entries it was hard to choose just 10 runners, and I feel honoured to be able to train with and run alongside such inspirational individuals.

"I know how hard you have to train to get the best out of yourself and I'm excited to help my army meet their own personal challenges at Manchester's Greatest Run.” 

Fellow boxing champion and Crolla's Army team-mate Callum Smith said: “I do quite a lot of running as part of my boxing training but I've never taken part in the Great Manchester Run. I race Anthony on the track all the time so I'm looking forward to racing him over 10km.

“I'm part of Crolla's Army. I train with him every day in the gym so we're quite good friends. It will be great to do the run alongside him. I'll be raising money for an autism charity. I've got a younger sister with autism so I understand the affect it has and hopefully we can raise a bit of awareness through the Great Manchester Run.”

Crolla's Army

Callum Smith

25, from Liverpool
WBC International Super Middleweight Champion Callum will be swapping the boxing gym for the city streets of Manchester to run alongside his sparring partner to raise money for autism charities. 

Adam Irvine

30, from Manchester
After being warned that life-saving cancer treatment at Manchester's Christie Hospital could prevent him from becoming a dad, Adam defied all odds by beating stage four cancer and had his first child with wife Lisa three years ago.

Marion Haines

57, from Lancaster
Five years ago Marion weighed nearly 19st, suffered back pain, migraine and bad knees. Now 9st 6lbs lighter, she watched last year's coverage and having spotted herself in the background when Anthony was being interviewed, credits him with giving her the confidence to enter this year.

Danielle Carney

27, from Cheadle
Corporate Fundraiser at RMCH Charity and having cheered on runners in the Great Manchester Run for many years, Danielle is taking on her first ever race to raise money herself for the Charity. 

Shannon Barrett

20, from Manchester
Running to thank Crolla for dedicating his World Champion title to her brother James, who lost his battle to cancer last year. 

Benjamin Uzokwe

19, from Manchester
Amateur boxer with a young autistic sister, keen to run for autism with one of his boxing idols to increase awareness of an often misunderstood and misdiagnosed condition. 

Lisa Crehan

32, from St Helen's
First time runner of the Great Manchester Run and single mum of two, looking for a reason to focus and train hard, and believes it will be a great confidence boost.  

Muhammad Mulla

25, from Blackburn
Huge Crolla fan and new runner looking to complete Great Manchester Run for the first time after watching from the sidelines for years. 

Thomas Smith

22, from Manchester
Fit and healthy Thomas is running to raise awareness of his cousin's rare inherited condition, PKU (Phenylketonuria), which can cause brain damage. The condition is treated with a low protein diet, which can be problematic for fit and healthy individuals in muscle recovery. 

Conor McMyler

19, from Bolton
Amateur boxer since the age of 11, Conor has sparred with Crolla at Gloves ABC and has ran Great Manchester Run before. He is keen to take on the race this year alongside his boxing idol. 

Russ Arrowsmith

56, from Manchester
Regular Great Run Local runner and amateur boxer who used to box with Crolla's father, Wayne.

Pardeep Robinson

35, from Sale
Running to learn how to live again after the passing of her champion Thai boxer and coach husband who died unexpectedly 16 months ago.  

To enter the Great Manchester Run – visit