MathematicsMaths lecturer, Michael McCabe, to run Edinburgh Marathon for charity
Sun, 11 Jun 2006 09:00:00 BST
Michael McCabe, lecturer in the Department of Mathematics, is running the Edinburgh marathon on Sunday June 11th to mark the centenary of his grandfather George Frew's first rugby international for Scotland. He hopes to raise funds for the charity Bowel Cancer UK in his honour.
George Frew played 15 internationals, including a Triple Crown winning season in 1906/7, and captained the Scottish side in 1910. Despite his strength and courage, George Frew died prematurely from bowel cancer. Further information about the George Frew Centenary team running the 2006 Edinburgh marathon relay in aid of Bowel Cancer UK is available at:
George Frew played as a flanker in his first rugby international against South Africa in 1906. (Twenty five years later in 1931 a Sunday Post reporter wrote: ?My most vivid recollection ? was the magnificent work of the Scottish pack, perhaps the finest game that any pack in Scottish jerseys ever played.?). His first four games for Scotland were all victories and the side won the Triple Crown at Blackheath, London at the end of 1906/7, his first full season. In those days, beating Ireland, Wales and England was the equivalent of the rugby Grand Slam today! George Frew went on to play 15 international matches and captained the Scottish side in 1910. George Frew was born on 9th September 1883. Although he died from bowel cancer in 1942, Michael has always celebrated his birthday, since he was born on exactly the same date: 9th September 1953, exactly 70 years later.
Michael has run all three Edinburgh Marathons, since the first event was held in 2003. In his fourth Edinburgh Marathon on June 11th 2006 Michael will be joined by four of his relatives in running the ?Hairy Haggis Team Relay?. Michael, his brother Andy McCabe, his cousin Andy Frew and the children of another cousin, Caroline and Alistair Frew, will be celebrating the George Frew Centenary Season and opening their appeal for Bowel Cancer UK. Bowel Cancer UK is a leading charity dedicated to raising awareness, improving the quality of life of those affected and, ultimately, reducing deaths from bowel cancer - the second most common cause of cancer death in the UK
Like nearly all the rugby internationals of his time George Frew volunteered for service in World War One and duly played his part in France with the Cameron Highlanders, until he was badly wounded at the Battle of Loos. This was the end of his career as a rugby player but, apart from some physical limitations, he recovered fully and became a director in his uncle?s cotton finishing company in Larkhall, Lanarkshire. In World War Two he commanded the local Home Guard until, in 1942, the then unmentionable disease of bowel cancer struck and George Frew died aged only 58. He was a strong and courageous man and lived a noteworthy life, but he might have lived longer with early diagnosis and medical treatment.
Michael McCabe will be one of three grandchildren and two great grandchildren in the George Frew Centenary team, running in aid of Bowel Cancer UK. Their efforts will help raise awareness of the disease and fund research, so that others stand a chance of being cured. There is a higher incidence of bowel cancer north of the border and for that reason, Bowel Cancer UK opened their Scottish office in Edinburgh during 2005. It would be a fitting memorial to George Frew?s life and celebrate the centenary of his first international cap, if the funds raised by the team of his descendants could be used to help eradicate the cancer that brought his life to a premature end. Further information about the George Frew Centenary team running in aid of Bowel Cancer UK is available at http://www.justgiving.com/georgefrew100
For further information about the work of the charity in both England and Scotland, see:
Coincidentally, Michael benefits from the advice of sports psychologist, Neil Weston, a lecturer in the Sports Science department at the University of Portsmouth. Neil?s grandfather played two rugby internationals for Scotland 20 years after George Frew.
Next year, Michael is planning to run his 4th London marathon starting at Blackheath. By yet another curious coincidence, Blackheath RFC was the rugby ground where Michael?s grandfather, George Frew, played his 4th international for Scotland and won the Triple Crown.
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