Craig races to raise funds for Baby Beat

Fylde Cricket Club first team captain and coach Craig Allison ran a race within a race to raise £2,273 for local mums and babies charity Baby Beat!

The 35-year-old dad-of-two ran in last month’s Fylde Coast Runners Central Lancs New Year Half Marathon.

Having previously clocked a half marathon time of just under 1:40, Craig set himself the challenge of racing not just fellow runners but the clock to finish in sub 1:30 at an impressive time of 1:26. In return for his efforts, family, friends and work colleagues sponsored him via his online fundraising page at

Craig, who works as a Secondary Education Manager for Blackpool FC Community Trust and also coaches his seven-year-old son Zach’s U7 Poulton Town FC team explained: “I am a regular runner but I really had to push my boundaries to knock more than 10 minutes off my previous personal best.

“I was getting up at 5-30 am to train but it was all worth it to give back for the specialist care and love that my fantastic nephew, Luke, received when he was first born. We can’t thank the hard-working nurses and doctors in the Neonatal Unit at the Royal Preston Hospital enough.”

Football and gaming fan Luke, who turned nine last month, lives in Poulton just around the corner from his Uncle Craig, teacher Aunty Clare and cousins Zach and three-year-old Ada. He was born to Clare’s sister Leanne Hammond and her husband Russell Hammond in 2014 but his birth was complicated and he was starved of oxygen for 30 minutes.  On delivery, he had to be resuscitated and put on life support.

Craig said: “Luke survived his trauma thanks to the unit’s dedicated team of superheroes, who work under intense pressure. He now lives with cerebral palsy but he is a happy, healthy and smiley young man, who is loved and adored by his family.

“Luke’s condition affects his movement and his speech. He has been in and out of hospital numerous times but he really does brighten up everyone’s day with his smile and abundant determination. Luke is a pupil at Red Marsh Special School in Thornton, where he’s making great progress and really flying.”

Craig added: “We are aware Luke’s fate could have been significantly different, which is why I am so grateful to everyone who sponsored me to help me raise funds for Baby Beat.”