Thomas crosses the finishing line as he runs a mile a day in memory of the brother he never met

A boy who set out on a mile-a-day running challenge to raise funds in memory of the brother he never met has completed his task – and raised more than £2,500.

Sunday, 30th August 2020, 5:45 pm

He died on July 17, 2013, when mum Zoe was 24-weeks pregnant, with the 24-year-old and husband John, 29, mindful to talk about their eldest son so Thomas and brother Jack, four, know about him.

The family decided to raise funds for 4Louis, a Sunderland charity which helps people through the loss of a baby, with Thomas setting out on a daily run in return for donation.

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Thomas Dale celebrates the end of his 17-mile running challenge.

The Our Lady of Lourdes Primary School pupil and Shotton Colts Under 7s player even completed his mile around Shotton Park on his birthday.

He was joined during the 17-day task by members of Shotton Colliery FC and Leeds United Ladies, with officers from Durham Constabulary also calling by to cheer him on as the community turned out to support him as he ticked off his runs.

He has now raised more than £2,500 to gift to the fund, with 4Louis’ chairman Bob McGurrell among those to celebrate his achievement.

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Thomas Dale at the graveside of his brother Jayden.

In addition to keeping him active during the school holidays and help him in the aftermath of the lockdown, the sessions have also helped him as he continues to grieve for his grandmother Susan Carol Banks, who died of cancer last August aged 52.

His family is now hoping his dream of taking a victory lap around Elland Road Stadium, as he is a huge fan of Leeds United, with a message being sent to club bosses to ask if they can make it a reality.

Zoe, who thanked all those who turned out to support her son, said: “Thomas did amazingly well and has taken each mile as it comes and never stopped.

"He has made his family, friends and community proud.”

Thomas Dale with his family members, who have said they are proud of his achievement.

Donations can still be added to the fund via https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/anne-marie-banks1.

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Thomas Dale wore a 4Louis top as he completed his runs.
Thomas Dale on the final day of his runs, accompanied by friends and family.
A huge crowd turned out to mark the final event.
Thomas Dale was joined by members of Leeds United Ladies for one of his runs.