'Real winner of Great North Run' loses cancer fight

Sir Mo Farah and Matt Hadden were the first and last to finish the 2017 Great North Run. Credit: North News

A man described as "the real winner" of this year's Great North Run has lost his fight against cancer.

28-year-old Matt Hadden died at home near Darlington last night, surrounded by his family.

A few days before September's half marathon, Matt received a surprise visit from Sir Mo Farah - who went on to win the race for the fourth time in a row.

Matt had bone cancer and had a leg amputated. He walked the 13.1 miles of the Great North Run using a prosthetic leg. His group were, in fact, the race's final finishers.

They raised £8,000 for the charity Maggie's Newcastle, who run a centre at the Freeman Hospital where Matt had received support alongside other cancer patients.

We are devastated at the loss of Matt. He was a big presence at the Maggie's Centre - supporting other people with cancer and supporting the charity. "He was a wonderful young man and it is a huge loss for everybody."

Karen Verrill - Centre Head, Maggie's Newcastle