A NORTH-EAST athletics club is to stage a special meeting in memory of an inspirational teenager who died after a seven-year battle against a rare illness.

Darlington Harriers will stage the third Kieran Maxwell Memorial Open at Eastbourne Sports Complex, in the town, on Sunday, April 11.

Kieran, a former club member died, aged 18, in June, 2017, after suffering from Ewing’s Sarcoma, an aggressive form of cancer.

Mark Tallon, Darlington Harriers’ track and field manager, said: “Kieran was a great friend and colleague to many of us, and his death was extremely sad. He was a talented athlete and we want to do something every year as a club to make sure he is not forgotten.”

Kieran, a promising sprinter, had a leg amputated below the knee in 2011, but carried on competing and was chosen to carry the Olympic torch through Bishop Auckland in 2012.

The youngster, who lived in Heighington, near Darlington, was being considered for the Great Britain Paralympic triathlon team.

The latest event in his honour will comprise 100m, 200m, and 1km races on the track, as well as shot put and long-jump events in the field, and anyone can enter.

The entry fee is £6 per event, with proceeds going to the Kieran Maxwell Legacy Fund, which has so far raised more than £50,000 for research into childhood cancer. Sponsors of the event are: TB Tarn, CKJ Interiors, New Levels Coaching, and Bevan VAT.

The meeting, which had to be cancelled due to Covid-19 last year, will be held between 11am and 2pm, with every competitor receiving a Kieran Maxwell memorial medal. Kieran’s mother, Nicola, and sister, Lissie, will be attending to present the medals.

Nicola said: “Sadly, a lot of our fundraising has had to be put on hold because of the lockdown, but Darlington Harriers have always been such a source of support, and it’s lovely that they’ve never forgotten Kieran. They’ve been an absolute godsend over the years and it means such a lot to us.”

•             To enter, go to www.kieranmaxwellopen.co.uk. To make a donation to Kieran’s Legacy Fund, go to www.kieranslegacy.co.uk/