Police officer completes London Marathon in memory of Olympian brother

The sister of a world judo champion has completed the London Marathon in his memory, two years after he died by suicide.

Tina Fallon is running the London Marathon in memory of her brother Craig
Tina Fallon is running the London Marathon in memory of her brother Craig

Pc Tina Fallon, an officer with West Midlands Police, took on the marathon on Sunday to raise money for mental health charity Mind in memory of her brother Craig.

Craig Fallon was a former judo world champion who competed for Great Britain at the Athens and Beijing Olympics and was aged 36 when he took his own life following a battle with depression.

Born in Ipswich, Mr Fallon grew up in Wolverhampton and was also one of only two British men to hold the world and European titles at the same time, having become world champion in 2005.

He had one child and had been appointed head coach of the Welsh Judo Association five months before he was found dead in woodland around three miles from his home in Lawley Bank, Telford, in July 2019.

Tina started running every day as part of the grieving process and, with the mass participation marathon cancelled last year, walked 26.2 miles around the Wrekin in Telford with her mother in honour of Craig as part of the virtual marathon event.

Former world champion Craig Fallon grew up in Wolverhampton and later moved to Telford

Now the 41-year-old anti-social behaviour, hate crime and restorative justice officer for Wolverhampton has completed the full London Marathon experience on behalf of the British Olympic Association.

The mother-of-two is aiming to have raised £5,000 for Mind and said she also wants to encourage those who need support to not be afraid to seek it.

She said: "I will never forget the day when I received the worst news I'd ever known.

"My little brother had lost his battle with depression and was no longer with us.

"My brother was a European and world champion who had travelled the globe and met so many people, yet this still was not enough to ward off the dark thoughts he had.

Pc Tina Fallon outside Wolverhampton Police Station where she is based

"As a family we were all devastated and I took to running, across miles and miles a day, as part of my grieving process.

"Although nothing ever takes away the pain it gave me time to think about what I could do to prevent anyone else going through the same experience.

"The thought of being able to help so many others like my brother was the reason I wanted to run for Mind, who do so much to support those with mental health issues.

"This was like the elephant in the room in my family as my brother was so quiet and so shy. It's important to know that is support out there and you are never alone."

Other runners from our region included Josh and Luke McEvoy, from Kingswinford, who took on the run to raise awareness of cerebral palsy – a condition their brother Callum has, and to raise money for Sense which supports children and adults with complex disabilities, including those who are deaf-blind.

There was also prominent fundraiser Earl Edwards, from Codsall, who put on a Pink Panther costume for the run to help raise money for Breast Cancer Now.

  • If you have been affected by this article, you can call the Samaritans on 116123 or visit samaritans.org.

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.

Top Stories

More from the Shropshire Star

UK & International News