THE family and friends of an Oldham man who died of cancer have completed a running challenge in support of a six-year-old with the disease.

Alfie's Army took on the gruelling 'Goggins' or '4 x 4 x 48' challenge, which involves running four miles every four hours for a total of 48 hours.

The Oldham Times: Alfie's ArmyAlfie's Army

All the runners were loved ones of Mark Lees, a former Hopwood Hall College student from Shaw, who died of a brain tumour at the age of 24.

They were spearheaded by Mark's brother Matt, who chose to support Alfie Fagan due to connections to the six-year-old's parents - Alfie's dad Mark Fagan is a former lecturer at Hopwood Hall College, while Alfie's mum Sarah Fagan is a colleague at work.

The Oldham Times: Alfie Fagan with mum Sarah Fagan.Alfie Fagan with mum Sarah Fagan.

Matt intended to raise £1,000 for Alfie, who was diagnosed with leukaemia last year and who is still in treatment but a JustGiving page passed £7,500 in the wake of the running challenge.

He said: “We are absolutely blown away by how much money we have raised and we have been so overwhelmed by everyone’s support. 

"A team of 10 of us took part in the run over the weekend of May 6 and it was extremely challenging. 

"It was harder than any of us had envisaged, but we were determined to see it through and I am pleased to say all 10 of us completed all 12 runs with lots of support along the way. 

“On one of the runs we were joined by Alfie and his dad Mark and they set us off at the start line, which gave us the strength to push on to the finish line. 

"Whilst the run was a real challenge for us, it is nothing compared to Alfie’s fight. We were thinking of him and my brother Mark every step of the way."

The Oldham Times: Alfie's ArmyAlfie's Army

Alfie's dad Mark Fagan added: "The challenge Matt and the team completed is incredible and we cannot thank them enough for what they have done. 

"Similarly, we would like to thank everyone that has donated to support Alfie through his battle. 

"Alfie and I were lucky enough to see the runners off for one of the legs and we could see how tough it was, however, everyone was so determined to complete the challenge, a fitting tribute to Mark."

To donate to the JustGiving page, go to