Marathon of golf to help hospital

Geoff Proudlock  Gents Captain ;  Mike Bradburn  Consultant Surgeon ;  Margaret Finnie Ladies Captain ; John Williams  Seniors Section Captain.
Geoff Proudlock Gents Captain ; Mike Bradburn Consultant Surgeon ; Margaret Finnie Ladies Captain ; John Williams Seniors Section Captain.

A Morpeth stalwart is set to take part in a golfing marathon to raise money for the hospital team that is treating him for cancer.

Geoff Proudlock was diagnosed with bowel cancer three years ago and he had an operation to remove a tumour at Wansbeck General Hospital.

The former independent leader of Castle Morpeth Borough Council says he received excellent care from the doctors and nurses and he is fund-raising to help the colorectal department in his year as men’s captain at Morpeth Golf Club.

The other sections of the club are supporting his cause and on Friday, June 20, he and three other players will attempt to complete 108 holes in one day – a total of six rounds.

He had appeared to be free of the disease, but after a recent check-up, Mr Proudlock was told that he has secondary cancer as it has spread to one of his lungs. He will soon find out whether or not surgery is necessary.

“The sheer professionalism of the everyone at Wansbeck General Hospital, including Dr Mike Bradburn who did my surgery, the specialist colorectal nurses and the ward and junior nurses, is incredible,” he said.

“They do a fantastic job. Until you suffer from something like this, you don’t realise how hard they work to help you feel at ease because receiving the news that you have cancer is such a shock to the system.

“I have the honour of being this year’s men’s captain at Morpeth Golf Club after 63 years of membership and I was in no doubt that I wanted to support the hospital.

“The club is 108 years old and 18 goes into 108 six times, so I suggested that a group of us could play six rounds in one day. It is a marathon of a task, but it is something that is unusual and challenging and hopefully we can get some donations and sponsorship.

“I will be joined by Ladies Captain Margaret Finnie, Men’s Vice Captain Graham Cook and Ladies Vice Captain Allison White. Although we will be playing foursomes (alternate shots) and using a buggy, we will still need to be quick because a normal round takes about three-and-a-half hours and we will ideally need to play each round in just under two hours.”

Mr Proudlock was a fusilier for 27 years and he was a company commander in Ashington and Newcastle. He is an Alderman of Northumberland and a long-standing Morpeth Chamber of Trade member.

Other events in aid of the Colorectal Cancer Fund at Wansbeck, dubbed Bottoms & Bums by Mr Proudlock, are being planned. They include a Northumbrian Evening with Ernie Coe.

Over the next five years after bowel surgery, the department carries out blood tests, telescope examinations of the remaining bowel and full body CT scans at certain periods.

Dr Bradburn, one of its three consultant colorectal surgeons, said: “It’s amazingly generous of Geoff to do all this fund-raising for us. The money will go towards buying specialist equipment and supporting our four specialist nurses with their career development.

“I’ve been asked to play a round during his Captain’s Day and it will be a steep learning curve as I haven’t held a set of golf clubs for 17 years.”

To help the charity, call Mr Proudlock on 01670 512668.