Couple on the run in memory of former Wigan Warriors player

Andrew Collier, who played Rugby League in the 80s for Wigan and Leigh Centurions, died of Covid-19 at the age of 53 last April

Friday, 16th April 2021, 12:00 pm

A couple have completed a gruelling challenge in memory of their relative and former Wigan Warriors player Andrew Collier.

Andrew died last April of Covid, aged 53, and Anne and Iain Maiden wanted to do something in his memory to support charity Joining Jack (JJ).

The pair have completed the charity’s 13 for 13 virtual running challenge, which sees participants asked to run 13.1 miles - a half marathon - to earn a medal and support the charity, which funds research into Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

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Andrew Collier

It had to be done virtually as JJ, the organising charity for The HW Moon Toyota Run Wigan Festival, cancelled the mass participation event due to Covid-19 restrictions.

The virtual challenge was inspired by Jack Johnson, race director Matt Johnson’s nephew and the charity’s namesake who has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, of which there is no cure currently.

The number 13 marks Jack’s 13th birthday but is of particular significance for the family of Andrew also as it was his favourite number to play in.

He played Rugby League in the 80s for Wigan and Leigh Centurions and his favourite position was loose forward (number 13).

Anne, who is the sister of Andrew, said: "It was his favourite position.

“We hope to achieve a positive outcome in Andrew’s memory and the event is significant with Jack’s 13th birthday.”

As well as Anne and Iain completing their 13.1 miles - a nod to the blue ribband race, the half marathon at the Run Wigan Festival - Anne and Andrew’s sisters Janet and Helen, also supported them by walking the same 13.1 mile distance in March.

Anne’s friend Julie, who has previously taken part in JJ events together, also completed the run - socially distanced with the couple.

Anne added: "My sole purpose was to have something positive to focus on in Andy’s name and anything that promotes a better outcome for Joining Jack, I know he would have approved of."

Their fantastic efforts have so far raised more than £600. To donate money, visit JustGiving and search for Anne Maiden.

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