Team to take on Great North Run in memory of Jarra Jim

Epinay Business & Enterprise School runners taking part in the GNR in memory of Jarra Jim. Dianne Mountain, front, with, from left,  Jill Charlton, Scott Creasy  and Amanda wood.
Epinay Business & Enterprise School runners taking part in the GNR in memory of Jarra Jim. Dianne Mountain, front, with, from left, Jill Charlton, Scott Creasy and Amanda wood.

The memory of South Tyneside running legend Jarra Jim is being kept alive by a team taking part in tomorrow’s Great North Run.

Jim Purcell was a firm favourite of spectators who would line the 13.1 mile route each year to watch the veteran runner.

Jim 'Jarra Jim' Purcell ahead of 2013 Great North Run at the age of 92 and his 27th run

Jim 'Jarra Jim' Purcell ahead of 2013 Great North Run at the age of 92 and his 27th run

This race, will be the first year without him after he died earlier this year from the effects of pnuemonia.

The run meant a lot to the Dunkirk veteran and the charities he raised money for - including Epinay Business School in Jarrow = where he was a regular contributor to funds helping to improve the school for its pupils.

To honour his memory, parents, staff and friends of the school have joined forces to take part in the event in his name.

They will each be wearing a vest emblazoned with his face and his favourite motto ‘keep on smiling.’

Dianne Mountain, business development manager at the school, said: “This is the first year without Jarra Jim.

“He loved the Great North Run and was such a huge supporter of Epinay and the children.

“We just wanted to do something to keep his memory alive and to say thank you for everything he has done for us over the years.”

She added: “This is the seventh year we have had a team running for the school and over the years the team has grown in numbers. And wearing the vests for Jarra Jim, just felt like the right thing to do.

“He was such an inspiration and he is going to be huge miss to everyone at this year’s Great North Run.”

The school is currently raising money for a new play area for pupils, as well as cash to help support ongoing activities for its students.

Epinay Business and Enterprise School provides education for children and young people, with special needs, from the age of five to 16.

In 2016, it also opened up a sixth form provision.