A DAD is hitting the streets of Azerbaijan to train for this year’s Great North Run to raise money for charity.
Brian Wilkinson, of Benton, has been working in the Asian country but will be back in the north east for the run to raise funds for Meningitis UK.
The charity is a cause close to the 54-year-old’s heart as his daughter, actress Holly Matthews, survived the deadly bug at the age of seven, and the 27-year-old’s daughter Brooke was hit by the disease too, just three months after her birth last year.
Byker Grove and Waterloo Road star Holly, now living in Coventry, and her mum Clare took part last year, raising more than £3,000 for the charity, but Brian was forced to pull out due to work commitments.
He is now doing his best to fit in training for the 13-mile challenge on Sunday, September 16, around his work for BP in Baku so he can make up for missing out last time round.
He said: “I am old and past it, but I am very eager to run and finish the inspirational race for such a good cause.
“I am doing it for Meningitis UK as it was very distressing to see my Holly have it when she was so young.
“I am doubly determined to complete the race as my granddaughter also suffered from meningitis, and we are just glad they both made it through OK.
“I hope to raise as much as possible to help the charity find a vaccine to wipe out the disease, as well as to raise awareness of the symptoms as it is crucial people know them.”
Visit www.justgiving.com/Brian-Wilkinson1 to donate.