Father-in-law’s death inspires Timperley teacher’s Great North Run challenge

By David Prior at

A deputy head teacher from Timperley who lost her father-in-law to a brain tumour is taking on the Great North Run to raise funds for research into the disease.

Elizabeth Rickels, 38, will take on the challenge in memory of her father-in-law, Tony Rickels, who died from an aggressive glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) in 2014, aged 62.

Elizabeth will be among thousands of runners taking part in the Great North Run, the world’s biggest half marathon. This year’s event takes place on Sunday, starting in Newcastle and covering a 13.1-mile route.

A 35-strong team will be taking part and 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.

Tony Rickels died from an aggressive glioblastoma multiforme in 2014

Elizabeth, who works at Cloverlea Primary School in Timperley, said: “Tony was a very fit and active man and it’s so sad that his life was cut short by such a cruel disease. I hope my efforts will help raise awareness of the current underfunding for research into brain tumours. More must be done if we are to prevent others from suffering as Tony did.”

Suzanne McKenna, head of community fundraising (North) for Brain Tumour Research, said: “For too long, brain tumours have been a neglected cancer. Stories like Tony’s remind us all that we cannot allow this desperate situation to continue.

“We are extremely grateful to Elizabeth 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 Elizabeth’s JustGiving page, go to

Pictured (top): Elizabeth and husband Martyn with sons Henry, Sebastian and Joshua