Almost every year since 2008, the ‘Fatty’s Big Push’ team has taken on the Great Manchester 10k Run.  As the 2020 event has been postponed, on Sunday 24th May the team will be taking on ‘Fatty’s Virtual Big Push - Covid-19 Edition’ in aid of three charities including Aspire, which supports people with Spinal Cord Injury, as well as NHS Charities Together and The Spinal Unit Action Group (SUAG).

Fatty – aka Jerry Ward - was paralysed by a spinal cord injury in November 2007 when he was swimming in the sea in Mexico and had to be resuscitated after being found face down in the water with a broken neck, unconscious and unable to move. He spent the following three months on a ventilator, first in Cancun, then in Salford, tantalisingly close to the finishing line of the Great Run in Manchester…

Just six months after his accident, and only three months after coming off the ventilator, Jerry was given permission by the hospital to take part in the 2008 Great Manchester Run in his wheelchair, the first ‘Fatty's Big Push.’  Since then, the ‘Big Push team which consists of his family, friends, colleagues have pushed him around the course almost every year.  This year, the Big Push team will meet up by video before starting the challenge and will then each set off to do their daily exercise before a celebratory virtual get together in the Covid Arms when they finish.  With each participant logging their times and distance, fierce competition is anticipated!

Fattys Big Push team 2020

Before his accident, Fatty had been working as an airline pilot for Thomas Cook, having previously been a fighter pilot in the RAF.  Now completely paralysed from the neck down, he drives a power wheelchair with his chin. He has been a supporter of Aspire ever since he spoke with an Aspire Independent Living Advisor when he was in hospital, whose advice helped him to be able to use a computer again through assistive technology and get back to work.  Fatty has been the guest speaker at Aspire’s Manchester and London Sports Quiz Dinners.

Jerry Ward speaking at the Manchester Sports Quiz Dinner

Sponsor Fatty's Big Push 2020 

Read Jerry’s story

Find out more about Jerry

Fundraiser stories

How we help