Actress to run for The Christie after it saved her mum

Press release posted 07 April 2016

Mum Sue Gordon admitted she was lucky to catch a glimpse of her famous actress daughter pounding the streets during television coverage of last year's Great Manchester Run.

When the cameras zoomed in on Tricia Penrose, who played bubbly barmaid Gina Ward in ITV's Heartbeat, it brought a tear to Sue's eyes.

It was not just the fact that Sue, from Royton, Oldham, had spotted her beloved daughter among the hordes of runners on the 10k route.

More that she was still alive to see Tricia raise funds for The Christie, the specialist cancer centre in Withington which she freely admits saved her life.

Sue, a psychiatric nurse at Royal Oldham Hospital, was given only weeks to live after she was diagnosed with advanced lung cancer in 2010.

Miraculously she has survived thanks to the intensive treatment and care she received from The Christie.

Therefore, Tricia did not hesitate to offer her support for the charity by taking part in this year's Great Manchester Run on Sunday, May 22, her third appearance in the event.

Sue, now 62, said: "When I was told I had an inoperable tumour, I thought I was dying and didn't hold out much hope of seeing my grandchildren grow up. I had radiotherapy every day for six weeks and thankfully the drugs and chemotherapy also took effect.

"I still get breathless and need a portable oxygen machine but the tumour has shrunk to just two centimetres. The Christie saved my life and I'd be thrilled if anyone can support Tricia's fundraising efforts."

Tricia lives in Macclesfield with husband Mark Simpkin, a former TV presenter and businessman, and sons Jake (12) and Freddy (7).

Tricia said: "I'm so thankful mum's still here and The Christie have been fantastic. She's a fighter and always says my kids are her medicine. Mum and I have always been incredibly close and she had me when I was 16.

"We worked together from when I was 15 as a singing duo called Second Image on the club circuit around Liverpool."

Tricia and musician Peter Hook are among 1,800 runners raising money for The Christie in its most successful sporting fundraising event of the year. To join the team go to

* To enter the Great Manchester Run on Sunday, May 22, go to