AN ‘inspirational’ grandad-of-six who set up two running clubs has died.

Gerard ‘Gerry’ McCabe, 68, founded both the Pendle and Burnley Grand Prix and Trawden Athletic Club.

Before he retired he was a headteacher at Hendon Brook School in Nelson in the 1980s after moving to Colne.


The father-of-two set up one of the most iconic half marathons in the country, the ‘Hendon Brook Marathon’, while trying to raise funds for the school in 1985.

This resulted in the birth of the Pendle and Burnley Grand Prix running club.

In 1993, the running enthusiast went on to set up Trawden Athletic Club which now has more than 350 members.

Mr McCabe was diagnosed with prostate cancer in August 2014.

The cancer spread to his bones and Mr McCabe passed away at home on Saturday.

His son David, 43, said his dad will always be remembered for his humourous award presentations.

He said: “My dad always made people laugh and smile when he gave out awards after races.

“He really was a funny man and full of kindness and generosity.

“He loved the running clubs, he put so much time into them and it’s amazing to see what they have become.

“The clubs have blossomed so much, they’re his legacy.

“My dad said he always wished he could run a marathon in under three hours, he would always get so close.”

Mr McCabe, originally from Leadgate in County Durham, also worked at Primrose Hill School in Burnley.

Dozens of people took to social media to pay tribute to him, including former paralympian Mark Brown.

Paul Brown, the chairman of Trawden Athletic Club, said the running community would dearly miss him.

He said: “If it hadn’t been for Gerry our thriving club simply wouldn’t exist.

“His unwavering support, enthusiasm, generosity and keen sense of humour endeared him to generations of local runners.

“Gerry was a truly wonderful and inspirational man and he will be dearly missed by his family and many friends.”

Mr McCabe is also survived by his wife, Ann, 67, daughter, Judith, 40, and grandchildren.

His funeral will take place on Wednesday, November 9, at Sacred Heart Church in Queen Street, Colne.