Big Pink Dress legend Colin Burgin-Plews sets up unique 'derby' for Sunderland and Newcastle fans to help with Great North Run fundraiser
A challenge between Sunderland and Newcastle is going down to the wire – but the real winner is charity.
Big Pink Dress’ Colin Burgin-Plews is the brainchild behind the contest which is linked to the Great North Run.
He plans to run in it during this weekend’s Great North Run as a tribute to the great Kevin Keegan who ran the first ever Great North Run race in the colours of the Tyne-Wear rivals 40 years ago.
Newcastle and Sunderland fans can sponsor a ball in their team’s colours and it will be stuck on Colin’s dress.
People can either sponsor a black and white ball or a red and white ball. Ten balls of either colour classes as one goal for that team.
Colin said: “It is 24-19 to Newcastle but I am expecting a few more by the time it gets to the Great North Run.”
Colin is raising money for two causes – Disability North and the Bradley Lowery Foundation.
The two links to vote are https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-display/showROFundraiserPage?userUrl=Bigpinkdressfundraising&pageUrl=25 for Sunderland fans and https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/bigpinkdress8121?fbclid=IwAR1y8BGytuRQw80FQDVZjf9LYD1WKu09Qav5iQ-xEwtNZx_cSJMRAWnrPMI for those backing Newcastle.
Colin has done so much to help others over the years and has raised £144,000 for worthy causes, but he has done all that while suffering from serious health issues himself.
In July 2019, Colin was rushed to South Tyneside District Hospital after suffering a problem with a valve in his heart and high blood pressure.
He had a scan and now has to take tablets to control the problem for the rest of his life. Amazingly, he recovered sufficiently to do the Great North Run that same year.
Now he is back once more to run the event in its 40th anniversary but only after suffering another health setback just weeks ago.
It was only in June that he went through an operation to remove a mole which left him with 16 stitches and a four-inch scar, and with experts telling him he needs to be checked every three months for skin cancer.
Yet Colin is determined to help others.
In another amazing achievement, Colin planned to do 40 half marathons for Macmillan in the lead-up to the 2021 Great North Run in memory of his mother Pat Walker who died aged 76, after a year-long battle with cancer.
He has just completed the mega mission and it took him 520 miles to do it.
Now Colin is planning to enjoy Sunday’s race and urged others to do the same.
Colin added: “After very trying times full of uncertainty we can at last move forward. For everyone running on Sunday remember enjoy every minute
“I know we are disappointed that the run is not ending in our beautiful town but you have a unique opportunity to cross the Tyne Bridge twice this year and next year we will show the world how South Shields party’s. See you all on the run.”