There’s plenty of life left in the Great North Dog Walk yet – says the organiser who is battling his way back to health after a fourth round of heart surgery.
Tony Carlisle, who set up the record-breaking event in 1990, is eager to get back on the fundraising trail after his operation at the Newcastle’s Freeman’s Hospital.
Doctors removed six stents from Mr Carlisle’s heart and performed a procedure to repair heart rhythm problems, during two-and-a-half hours of surgery.
The former Harton Technology College PE teacher is delighted that the surgery was a complete success – leaving him to focus on this year’s event, the 26th – on The Leas, South Shields, on June 5.
Nationwide dog food brand Pedigree has signed on to sponsor the event and Mr Carlisle has vowed to keep the attraction up and running for the next 25 years and beyond.
He said: “The community have all rallied round.
“People have been thinking of me and my family. I want to thank them all.”