Proud Tom Everett and his grandson Matthew will be among the oldest and youngest participants in next month’s Manchester Midnight Walk, organised by St Ann’s Hospice.
Keen walker Tom is bravely tackling the 10-kilometre circuit of the city centre, having turned 80 just three days before the event on Friday, May 20.
He will have a heavy heart leaving Manchester Cathedral after losing his wife Carol (76) to cancer 18 months earlier.
The Sale couple had been married for 51 years and retired sales manager Tom will always cherish the beautiful poems written by his beloved wife, a tax officer.
He compiled them in a book and presented a copy to St Ann’s in Heald Green where Carol was cared for.
He even read Carol a verse from a favourite poem, entitled My God, at her hospice bedside during final precious moments together.
Tom said: “The beautiful thing was that after I’d read the first verse she squeezed my hand and relaxed. I didn’t even know that Carol had been writing poems since she was a teenager.
“She wanted us to look after St Ann’s as they were so good to us all in the month she was there. I visited her twice a day every day with our son Andrew and they were brilliant.
“Carol was a wonderful person and I was astonished she accepted my invitation to go out on a date all those years ago. I thought I must be in a queue!
“She had steely determination.”
The couple’s daughter Rachel died of cancer in 2004, aged 31.
Matthew, a pupil at Wellington School, Timperley, is excited by the walk. Matthew said: “I’m sure it’s going to be fairly tough for my grandad, but he walks every day and I’ll be there every step of the way to support him.”
The moonlit walk, starting and ending at Manchester Cathedral from midnight, costs £19 to enter, £11 for under 18s. For those unable to make it, a virtual walk is £10 and £5.