Fechin Mc Cormick (Sale Harriers Manchester)


Last summer Sale Harrier’s ANDREW McASLAN – just 25 years of age, was diagnosed with Stage 4 of an incurable blood cancer called follicular lymphoma. He went through six months of immuno-chemotherapy and thankfully he continues to be in remission. He’s been told his remission is temporary because the condition at present is incurable and he has no way of knowing when it will return or how severe.

Athletic Weekly reported on Andy’s tragedy last October and wrote how, when Andy won 800m bronze in the British Universities Championships two years ago, he had hopes of progressing to international level, when his form and fitness began to deteriorate. “I knew something was not right,” he said after he’d run an under par 1:56.21 for 800m in Leeds in May 2021.

He and his partner, fellow 800m runner Leah Barrow, searched for answers and finally, following several frustrating misdiagnoses, he received the worst possible news that he had an incurable blood cancer called non-Hodgkin follicular lymphoma.

“Unfortunately my cancer is currently incurable” he said. Therefore even if remission is achieved, it will still be living in my body and there is a high chance that it will start growing again. However there is no indication of when and how severe.” Andy is at stage four of the disease at the age of just 25 so unless a cure is found, the treatment options will eventually run out.”

To raise awareness of the disease and to hasten a cure Andy and his sister Kirsten and their family and friends set about promoting the little known Follicular Lymphoma Foundation and fund-raising for them. The main fundraising event last October raised £2.6m and a personal fund-raising page which Andy himself set up raised an incredible further £80k! “If they can find a cure for the Covid-19 vaccine so quickly” he said,” then with the necessary funding in place it gives hope that a cure for follicular lymphoma can also be quickly found”.

The Foundation has been underfunded for so long so the resources have not been put into finding a cure but the experts have said that it is possible.”

Talent runs through Andy’s family. Andy’s sister, Kirsten is a British international 400m and 400m hurdler and was until recently a regular member of Sale Harriers T & F teams since 2013.

Throughout 2022 Andy, his partner, Kirsten and their family and friends will continue to raise awareness and funding so that a cure is urgently found for him. He’s just started an Instagram and YouTube account to document his cancer experience and his attempts to return to running following his treatment and to raise awareness for the disease and the Follicular Lymphoma Foundation.

The account is called ‘Cancer and the Comeback’ and any help sharing that on his behalf will be much appreciated. The link to the Instagram account is:-


.... The link to the YouTube is: https://youtube.com/channel/UC5SwZgBerBH7QdLB6jL8JqA

To make a donation, the direct link to the Follicular Lymphoma Foundation donation page is https://www.theflf.org/donate

Please put your whole heart and soul into supporting Andy and digging as deep as you can so we do our bit to get Andy a cure. After all he’s ‘one of us’ and we want him back onto that track…….in 1:50 PB shape at least! Please share........

Nigel Breddy

To all SHM Members,

I hope you all had a wonderful festive season and may I wish you a healthy and peaceful 2022.

After several months of consideration, it is with regret I have decided to step down as Chairman of Sale Harriers Manchester, effective April 2022.

This decision has not come easy, but it is now time for me to take a step back to concentrate more on my employment and other interests.

It has been an absolute honour and privilege to have been your chairman for the past four years, and I hope I have done the job justice. This is by no means a ‘goodbye’, but more of a ‘see you soon’.

As I sit back and reflect on the past several years, it brings joy to me knowing how we have progressed in terms of technology, and all the fun times we have all had.

Back in 2019 we hosted probably one of the best Gala dinners I had ever attended. The turnout was overwhelming and showed commitment from all our members. Not long thereafter we took the initiative to redesign the club’s website introducing a more modern electronic online way of renewing club memberships. A challenging task to say the least but the team involved did a splendid job for which we will all benefit.

Not everything was smooth sailing, and we were faced with the possibility of losing a large portion of Crossford Bridge to the relocation of Sale Sharks. This took a combined effort of SHM, Sale United and Old Alts. A challenge hopefully never to be repeated but by sheer determination and the help of all involved, we manged to fight off the wolf and retain the status quo.

As a result of the Sale Sharks potential relocation project, we have reconfigured the CBMA (Crossford Bridge Management Association – made up of representatives from the three main clubs using Crossford Bridge) as a charity and are about to sign a long-term lease with Trafford Council, securing our home for the foreseeable future.

These are just a few of the achievements/challenges we have faced over the past few years, and it’s been a privilege to have been involved in each and every one of them.

The final important step I need to do before I let go of the reigns is to ensure a succession plan for when I leave. SHM is entering a new phase post covid with new and somewhat different challenges which will require more of a hands-on approach. These are by no means difficult times but more positive challenges which will see the club evolve over the coming years.

This plan will first and foremost involve appointing a new Chairman. As such I am extending an invitation to any of you who may be interested in taking up this exciting and prestigious role. The role as Chairman gives you the ability to drive the club forward, with the help of our valued and very involved executive team. This role is a part time role and clearly not needed on a permanent basis.

I can honestly say being part of the Club’s committee has taught me a great many new life skills and helped shaped my character in the last several years. I by no means had the best knowledge of athletics, or even completely understood how the Club functioned before commencing the role, however I had new ideas and a more modern direction I felt the Club should progress toward, which was achieved by the help of the exec team.

So, if you have fresh ideas and are passionate about our sport, please speak to me about how you might get more involved, or ultimately take up the positive challenge of Club Chairman.

Nigel Breddy January 2022
Sale Harriers Manchester


Saturday 30/10/2021, Long Eaton

By Glenn Savage, Men's Masters Team Manager

After an unprecedented 18 months or so that have impacted on the lives of so many in ways we could never have imagined, and deprived us of so much that we take for granted; recent weeks have seen a welcome return to the calendar for one of the oldest and purest forms of racing, our beloved cross country.

West Park in Long Eaton again played host to the annual British Masters Cross Country Relays with the cream of the country’s veteran runners proving that age is no barrier.

The fast, flat 3K course threatened to be slightly heavier going than usual when Saturday morning greeted us with torrential rain. However, this cleared by the afternoon and we were treated to a glorious sun-kissed autumnal day, if not a little blustery.

As all the ladies’ age groups toed the line together for the first set of races, Sale Harriers had two teams ready to challenge in their respective categories.  First of all we had high hopes for our W35 team. Louise Whittaker got the team off to exactly the kind of start needed, finishing 3rd on the 1st leg in a fantastic 11:31, which turned out to be the 7th quickest of the day.  The challenge now was to maintain this start and not succumb to the pressure from the chasing pack and Emma Finney did not disappoint.  A fine 12:35 kept us in a medal position going into the final stage.  Harriet Hamilton ran a superb 12:05, but was chased down by Charnwood’s Juliet Potter running the day’s fastest leg.  Agonisingly close to a podium position, it was nevertheless an excellent performance from the team.

Our W45 team had no idea upon arrival of the drama that was about to unfold.  Whilst warming up, our 2nd leg runner Carla Ousey had the misfortune of twisting her ankle.  Carla would no doubt have battled on gamely, such is her spirit and fortitude, but having an able deputy on hand in the shape of team manager Anne Chinoy made the substitution an easy choice.

It is quite common for many teams to put their stronger runners on the first leg to get off to the best possible start, so Julia Reynolds had some stiff competition to contend with.  She met the challenge head on and put in a great effort, running 14:48.  Anne then gained 6 places with an excellent 12:35 - 2nd fastest V45 in leg 2 and 8th fastest V45 of the day; a remarkable effort given the limited time she had to prepare.  It was left to Caroline Kinghorn, dropping down from her own W55 category, to anchor the trio to a very creditable 7th place with her 14:57 effort.  Caroline has become a great asset to our ladies teams, and it is hoped that with other runners available in the W55 age group we could definitely challenge for medals.

It is worth mentioning that Anne, Julia and Caroline had all completed the London Marathon at the beginning of the month so may have not yet fully recovered, which makes their performances seem even more impressive.

At the start of the week, it was hoped that we could have teams competing in three different age categories of the men’s races.  However, some late withdrawals meant us having to rely solely on our M35s to fly the flag for Sale, and the quintet on duty certainly didn’t let anybody down, cheered on by watching team manager Glenn Savage and club legend Brian Goulden.

Chris Standidge was our 1st leg runner, and the decision to start with him paid off as he ran a brilliant 10:24 to take the team into 8th place.  Tom Stephenson was up next and he ran a superb 11:02 to keep the team in a strong position.  The 3rd leg saw Andrew Curvis, a relative newcomer to the club (and the sport), gain 3 places with his fine 11:06 to move us back into the top 10.  Jon Smalley, another recovering from a recent marathon PB in Manchester, battled to a strong 11:26.  Aaron Steele was the man trusted in bringing the team home and he produced a great performance (11:47) to secure an excellent 11th place.  The standard of runners on show from all corners of the UK means that this is a fantastic team performance, and it was great to see the enthusiasm of these lads.  It bodes well for future championship events, where medals must be a distinct possibility.

As always, this event offered a great friendly atmosphere though the competition was fierce.  A thoroughly enjoyable day and great performances from all three of our teams.

By Andy Dennison

Due to the global pandemic the last couple of years have been a challenge for everyone, but our primary section has bounced back with gusto with much to celebrate. In an evening filled with laughter and celebration the primary section gathered for their annual awards evening. Below is a note of some of our special people who deserve an extra special pat on the back. I would like to mention everyone but you all know who you are and we salute you.

 Coach Appreciation Award Winner

Pete Horsfall

Pete joined our club as a parent in 2018 and soon became a keen volunteer running out with the Blue Group. He then decided to take the next step and took his Assistant Coach Badge and this year has become a fully qualified Athletics Coach which has been invaluable as we’ve returned to training.

 Young Helper Award Winners

Tiggy Faloon & Kelci Dennison

Tiggy has represented the club at competition, whilst at the same time volunteering over the past few years to coach our younger athletes. She has recently left us to study Geography at Hull university but returned to join us for presentation evening.

Kelci has volunteered at the Primary Section for the past 3 years including coaching with the Blue group, working in the tuck shop, painting the clubhouse, posting thousands leaflets and making literally hundreds of teas and coffees for the rest of the team.

 Volunteer Award Winner

Ashlea Walsh

Ashlea has been an invaluable member of our team over the past couple of years. She has not only been coaching with the Purple group, but, as life had to change in response to Covid, she has taken care of all our online bookings, payment systems, Facebook page and responds to dozens of emails each week. It is difficult to imagine how the Primary Section would have functioned at all over the past year without her.

 Guest of Honour

Lisa Fletcher

We wanted to recognise Lisa’s contribution, particularly during the pandemic when she was persuaded to come out of retirement to be our Covid officer. Lisa provided us with much needed advice whilst we tried to follow what was often very unclear government guidance.

Our guest presenters were two Sale Harriers athletes, Success Eduan and Annabel Amadin.

Despite being only 16, Success recently competed in the European Athletics U20 Championships. She came away with a bronze medal in the 200m in an amazing time of 23.16 seconds.

Annabel joined Sale Harriers in 2018 and was introduced to the late-Brian Spriggs who coached her in Discus and Shot Put. Since 2020, Annabel has focussed on Shot Put and progressed to become the Northern U17 Champion and English Schools champion. Annabel is currently ranked second in the Nationally for under 17s, despite being only 15 years old.

At last, October 2021 saw the return of the big city marathons. Many Sale Harriers took part in the London and Manchester Marathons. Anyone who has trained for a marathon will know, it is quite a journey - both on the day itself and in the many months of training leading up to the big event. So, rather than feature a long list of names and finish times I have asked members to write a few lines outlining their marathon story. >>Read full report here

2021 Marathon Report