Year long run in memory of teenage footballer

Anthony Tierney, aged 40, is taking on a year long running challenge in memory of a 13-year-old boy
Anthony Tierney, aged 40, is taking on a year long running challenge in memory of a 13-year-old boy

A headteacher has taken on a charity challenge to run 2017km in a year in memory of a 13-year-old who died in a tragic accident.

Anthony Tierney, aged 40, is completing the mammoth challenge to honour the life of Aidan Bancroft who passed away following an accident at home.

Mr Tierney has completed just over 1700km of running in the first ten months of the year, mainly alongside his loyal dog, Betty.

He is on track to achieve his ambitious goal and has already raised nearly £4,000 of his £5,000 target for Sheffield Children’s Hospital who cared for Aiden following the accident.

The headteacher said: “He and my son were born days apart so they grew up together and it was such a terrible loss for the whole family when Aidan died that I needed to show my support somehow.”

Aidan’s parents, Gail and James Bancroft, had led a fund-raising effort to support the hospital since their tragic loss last year and had set a target of £33,668.73 to purchase much needed equipment for the hospital.

Aidan was the goal-keeper for the Hathersage under-14 football team and had been coached Mr Tierney since the team had started at Under 8 level.

He said: “The football club and the whole community has been devastated by his loss.”

Mr Tierney is urging the community to get behind him on the last leg of his trek and donate to the cause.

Since the start of the charity trek a number of others have decided to join in with their version of the challenge.

Amongst those doing their bit it Mr Tierney’s wife Charlotte who will be running half and cycling half of her 2017km throughout the year.

The team are seeking further support and sponsorship to reach the fundraising target and a ‘last run of 2017’ is currently being planned for the community in December.

Mr Tierney said: “I use running to wind down after a busy or stressful day but when it’s 6am and raining and I don’t want to get out of bed, I remember Aidan and why I am doing this.”

His progress may be tracked on the Strava website.

To donate or for more information about the charity challenge visit or