A funeral will take place next week for a popular former-taxi driver who cemented his place in the hearts of those who knew him through his kindness and compassion for others.
Mark Wood, described as one of the “good guys” by family and friends, died suddenly on September 16.
His death devastated all those who knew him, including the running fraternity where he made a big impression.
At the weekend, hundreds of runners and non-runners gathered at the seafront to take part in the South Shields ParkRun in tribute to the much-loved dad to Katie and James.
Each wore black and white, the colours of his favourite football team Newcastle United.
A balloon release was also held following a minute’s applause before the start of the 5k volunteer-led run, which attracted its biggest turnout to date.
He was such a lovely person, inside and out.Pat McDougall
Mark, 42, a member of South Shields Harriers, was an avid runner and was often competing in the various runs around the country.
However, it was the Great North Run which was the one he most looked forward to.
Each year, he would take part in the event raising funds for the Glen Corner Trust - a cause close to his heart.
The Trust was set up in memory of teenager Glen Corner, who was stabbed to death on his 16th birthday, to raise awareness of the dangers of carrying knives to youngsters and to support families affected by knife crime.
Mark, who for a time owned his own cab firm - Whiteleas Taxis - was an integral part of the Trust and championed the cause at every opportunity.
Speaking on behalf of the Trust, Pat McDougall said: “He was such a lovely person, inside and out.
“He is going to be a big miss, not just to the Trust, but to all of us as a friend.
“You couldn’t have asked for a better friend. He was a one-off.”
A service will take place on at South Shields Crematorium next Tuesday at 11.15am.
His family have requested flowers or donations if desired to be made to MIND or the Glen Corner Trust.