A MAN from Antrobus who has raised hundreds of thousands of pounds for cancer sufferers and their families has been shortlisted for a national award.

After beating the disease himself, Neil Cliffe decided to do everything he could to help those in a similar position and their families.

And his extraordinary fundraising efforts have earned the 86-year-old a place in the finals of the Charity Champion category of the Amplifon Awards for Brave Britons.

Neil’s fundraising began after undergoing life-saving surgery for colon cancer in 1981, which compelled him to raising funds for an endoscope machine.

“I had quite serious cancer and after I was successfully treated, I learned from my surgeon that they couldn’t afford an endoscopy machine to treat others affected by the disease,” he said.

“I told him that I would get it without realising how much a machine like that would cost.

“We started buying equipment initially and began helping to fund projects such as stop smoking clinics, which have since been rolled out nationally.

“You are only as good as your team, and we had a team of do-ers who didn’t just have meetings, but made things happen.”

Neil took up marathon running at the age of 46 to fundraise for his cause, despite never having run before in his life, and has since completed almost 80 marathons around the world.

The ‘we’ who Neil refers to is the team of volunteers he inspired along the way, who joined him in his mission to make life a little easier for fellow cancer patients and their families.

In 1992, having fundraised more than a million pound, the Neil Cliffe Centre opened its doors at Wythenshawe Hospital and was the first cancer support centre of its kind to be built on an NHS site.

This is a vision that has since been replicated nationally, and the centre supports thousands of people each year across Greater Manchester.

Although Neil has hung up his running shoes, he is still just as passionate about fundraising to support cancer patients and their families.

“I am still as keen and as conscious of raising money today as I was 40 years ago,” he added.

“The thought of other people feeling like I did all those years ago spurs me on.

“It’s not just the patient who is affected, as cancer is a huge trauma for the entire family, but through our fundraising efforts we’ve hopefully been able to provide comfort to people all over the country.”

Neil will discover whether he has won the award at a finals luncheon in London later this month.

The panel of judges will choose an Overall Hero Award winner from the category winners, who will also win a trip to Italy.