A Stretford man is taking part in The Great Manchester Run to raise money for charity and to encourage more Afro-Caribbean men that it’s good to talk to their GPs about any medical issues they might have.

Granville Campbell, 59, who was brought up in Old Trafford and now lives in Stretford, has been inspired to raise money for The Christie Charity in memory of his older brother, Eric.

Eric was diagnosed with the very rare penile cancer in 2021 and was treated at The Christie hospital before he died last October.

Granville said: “My brother could have, and would have, received an earlier diagnosis if he had been brave enough to seek doctors’ advice at the first sign of any health-related illness, but he chose to stay quiet and was suffering over a period of time.

"Unaware, his symptoms at the time were slowly escalating he felt unable to open up and get medical advice. He eventually made an appointment with the doctor.

Messenger Newspapers: Granville has ran The Great Manchester Run 16 timesGranville has ran The Great Manchester Run 16 times (Image: The Christie Charity)

"After examination, Eric was diagnosed with a form of cancer that had taken hold so much that he was given less than 12 months to live."

Granville is looking to raise money in his brother's memory, but also to inspire fellow Afro-Caribbean men to be more open about their issues.

He said: “The Afro-Caribbean community, especially the men, do not speak of such things unless they are pushed into it by a family member or loved one.

"I now know that Eric would still be here if he had spoken out and sought help in the early stages of his cancer diagnosis, where he was a patient at The Christie until his passing.

"Taking part in this year’s Great Manchester Run in support of The Christie Charity is in his memory, and to highlight the message to all men to feel empowered - help is out there if we talk.”

Donate to Granville's fundraising effort here.

This year’s Great Manchester Run on Sunday, May 26 will be Granville’s 16th, although running was not his first love.

He had always kept himself fit at the gym, playing basketball and football, but in 2007 he found out he had a slipped disc, and was unable to continue all the gym work and sports that he had previously enjoyed.

Granville turned to running to keep fit, which coincided with starting a new job, with his new employers annually entering a team into the Great Manchester Run, prompting Granville to join the team and start preparing for his first ever run.

Messenger Newspapers: Granville with supporters of his at The ChristieGranville with supporters of his at The Christie (Image: The Christie Charity)

He said: “Initially I wanted to support a spinal support charity, due to my sporting injury, but at this same time my mother was receiving some treatment at The Christie hospital for a brain tumour.

"It was then my love for the work The Christie was doing hit home to me, and I decided to give something back by fundraising.

He added: “I am a massive Manchester City fan - my street name, among many, is ‘Champ’.

"Living 10 mins away from the ‘arch enemy’, Manchester United, means I have many sporting friends on both sides who actively support my cause fundraising for The Christie Charity year after year, as they too have fond appreciation for the great work it carries out in our community each and every day."

One of Granville's biggest supporters is the Carryduff Man Utd Supporters Club, based in Northern Ireland, who he got to know more than 15 years ago, as they would park up and have a drink pre and post-match at a hotel he did part time work for.

He said: "They were never made aware I was a Man City fan until many years afterwards, they assumed I was like them, a United fan working at the hotel on match days."

Since then, Granville has been "unofficially" inducted into the Carryduff family, and accepted an invitation to join them in Belfast for their 20-year anniversary of the supporter’s club. 

Granville said: “Many friends, family, colleagues, and ex-colleagues all have a special affinity for The Christie and The Christie Charity, through family members receiving treatment.  

"From my own personal perspective - as well as my late mother and older brother Eric - my younger brother Steve was also diagnosed with myeloma cancer in 2021. Thankfully, he has been in remission for the last four years. 

“The personal satisfaction I receive each year is probably the main reason I keep plodding the streets and fundraising. I have a special message to highlight this year - ‘it’s good to talk’ - and if I can use my support for such a wonderful organisation as The Christie Charity to get the message out there to help others, then I'm all for it, for as long as I’m able to do so.”

Granville’s message has already struck a chord with a close family friend of his, Ronnie Hunte after he had attended Granville’s brother Eric’s funeral last October.

Messenger Newspapers: Ronnie Hunte, who Granville has inspired to get checked upRonnie Hunte, who Granville has inspired to get checked up (Image: The Christie Charity)

“Ronnie heard my concerns about men not carrying out self-help when it comes to their health, and he eventually plucked up the courage and went for a PSA test. Unfortunately, his results came back with a positive trace for prostate cancer, but being diagnosed so early means that Ronnie can return to full health after his course of treatment, which he recently started at The Christie in Oldham.”

Abbie Wick, sporting events officer at The Christie Charity said, “Granville’s message ‘it’s good to talk’ is such an important one for us all. His relentless fundraising for The Christie Charity has been so impressive and we all wish him all the very best of luck for this year’s Great Manchester Run.”