Tees

Ali Brownlee: Thousands run for 'Voice of the Boro'

Ali Brownlee
Image caption Ali Brownlee died from bowel cancer at the age of 56

Thousands of people have taken part in a 5km (3.1m) run for "Voice of the Boro" Alastair Brownlee, the BBC Tees presenter who died of cancer earlier this year.

Mr Brownlee, 56, commentated on Middlesbrough FC for more than 30 years and presented shows on BBC Tees.

Middlesbrough Council renamed this year's run The Ali Brownlee Cleveland Centre 5K Riverside Run in his honour.

His daughter Alison said he would have "felt humbled and honoured".

Mr Brownlee died at his Middlesbrough home on 14 February, three months after being diagnosed with the disease.

Image caption The run started and ended at the Riverside Stadium
Image caption Ali's wife Wendy and his daughter Alison took part in the run
Image caption Entrants took part in either a 2k or 5k race

Yvonne Gamble-Thompson, 81, from New Marske was taking on her very first race for Ali.

She said: "If you ever saw him, he'd always speak and say 'how are you?' you felt as though you knew him personally.

"He was an ordinary person but he got through to hundreds and thousands of people. He will never be forgotten."

Entrants who took part in the run from the Riverside Stadium received a special red and white T-shirt and a medal.

Image copyright Middlesbrough Council
Image caption Special medals and T-shirts have been created in his honour

Race director, Scott Hydon, said: "Ali was just such a massive part of this event, he was so helpful, so generous with his time, and of course we were all immensely saddened by the loss and it just seemed the most appropriate thing to do.

"It was kind of a no brainer really... we just needed to remember him in some way and this is how we've chosen to do it.

"We wanted to keep his spirit alive because he meant so much to the area. He was Teesside through and through."

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