Sadness as Man in the Big Pink Dress charity champion told he may never run again

Colin Burgin-Plews
Colin Burgin-Plews

Fundraiser Colin Burgin-Plews, well-known for taking part in charity runs in a big pink dress, may have taken part in his last event.

Colin, who is known affectionately as The Man in the Big Pink Dress, has been dealt a devastating blow when he was told by 
doctors that he may never run again.

Big Pink Dress Colin Burgin-Plews

Big Pink Dress Colin Burgin-Plews

The 47-year-old, of Talbot Road, South Shields, has just passed the £15,000 mark of his £100,000 fundraising target for charity Breast Cancer Now.

But Colin fears he may not be able to run after finding out he has tenosynovitis, an inflammation and swelling of the tendons in his right ankle.

He believes the injury was brought on after he broke two toes on his right foot when he was seven miles into the London Marathon, in May this year.

He suffered the break after tripping over his dress, but carried on to complete the race.

The doctor said if I continue running it could get worse and I could snap it. It could maybe get better but I can’t run and there’s a chance that I never will again.

Colin Burgin-Plews

Care home chef Colin, who lives with his wife Cath Burgin and son Ollie, said: “I’m absolutely gutted. I knew there was something wrong after the London Marathon but because I’m a bloke, I just shook it off.

“But I went for a scan at South Tyneside District Hospital the other day and the doctor told me it wasn’t good. He said if I continue running it could get worse and it could snap it. It could maybe get better but I can’t run and there’s a chance that I never will again.”

Colin, who stands at 6ft 6in-tall and weighs in at 19st, has carried out a number of challenges in his hand-made pink dress to raise funds for the organisation, which carries out research into cancer.

He’s signed up to take part in the next London Marathon in April next year, and is hoping to get the help of a mechanical boot to complete the race.

The South Shields Park Run is going pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. 5k run being led by fundraiser Colin Burgin-Plews aka the Big Pink Dress.

The South Shields Park Run is going pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. 5k run being led by fundraiser Colin Burgin-Plews aka the Big Pink Dress.

He said: “I’m going to see if I can get one of those biomechanical boots and if I can walk the London Marathon, I will.

“I’ve got that, the Sunderland Half Marathon, Gateshead 10K and the Great North Run all in the space of a few months, but if I push it and try to run before I’m ready I could make it even worse.

“There were tears in my eyes when the doctors told me. I’ve just passed £15,000 and my target is £100,000.

“I’ll still fundraise no matter what but running is what I’m known for and it’s what I do. Maybe I’ll have to get a big pink swimming costume and swim instead.”

The cast of the Xmas Laffalang are donating all profits to Colin Plews' charity cause after learning he may not be able to run the London Marathon.

The cast of the Xmas Laffalang are donating all profits to Colin Plews' charity cause after learning he may not be able to run the London Marathon.

Colin, who began raising money after a friend was diagnosed with breast cancer, has been thrown a fundraising lifeline by the cast of comedy sketch show, the Laffalang.

Those behind the show have decided to donate all profits from the Xmas Laffalang, to Colin’s charity of choice.

The show will run at the Westovian Theatre, in South Shields, on Monday, December 14.

Colin said: “It’s unbelievable how many messages I’ve had from everyone involved in the show and it’s amazing that they’re going to donate the money to the charity.

“I’m gutted that I’m out of action, at least for a while anyway.

“I can feel the injury even when I’m walking and after a mile or so it hurts.

Colin Burgin-Plews with the cast of the Easter Laffalang, Bob Stott, Rosie Ramsey, Stephen Sullivan and Hazel Pude.

Colin Burgin-Plews with the cast of the Easter Laffalang, Bob Stott, Rosie Ramsey, Stephen Sullivan and Hazel Pude.

“I’m 99% sure I won’t be doing the London Marathon, but there’s still that 1% of me thinking it’s possible.”

Tickets for the Xmas Laffalang cost £11 and can be bought from the Visitor Information Centre within Haven Point.