Northern Ireland man helps godson who died from brain tumour to complete unfinished coast to coast journey

A Belfast man has made an emotional trek from coast to coast in England carrying the ashes of his godson on a journey he never got to make.

Stuart Kent, Mick Crossey, Bernie Crossey, Andy Hall and Leanda Mould begin the coast to coast walk
Stuart Kent, Mick Crossey, Bernie Crossey, Andy Hall and Leanda Mould begin the coast to coast walk

Sean Crossey died in September 2018, less than two years after being diagnosed with an aggressive and fast-growing brain tumour. The 29-year-old had married his beloved girlfriend, Laura, just three months earlier.

Sean had embarked on Wainwright’s Coast to Coast Walk in 2014 but was unable to finish it because his feet were so badly blistered. He had vowed to return with his father but died before he was able to.

His father Bernard, who is from High Wycombe, and brother Mick, who is from Belfast, decided they would complete the trek for Sean by bringing his ashes on the 200-mile walk.

Sean Crossey with scar

They were joined by Bernard’s National Crime Agency colleague, Stuart Kent, Stuart’s colleague, Leanda Mould, and Bernard’s fellow High Wycombe magistrate, Andy Hall. Sean’s mum Jo also joined them for parts of the trek.

Mick, a retired British Airways pilot, said: “I was delighted and honoured when Bernard and Jo asked me to join them on the coast-to-coast walk to celebrate the life of their dear son Sean, my godson.

“I decided to bring my drone to film this beautiful countryside, hopefully highlighting this amazing cause from another perspective, looking down from on high, following Sean’s footsteps.”

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Bernard said: “It’s a lot of climbing, the equivalent of going up and down Everest, I’m told, so it’s a hard graft but people we’ve met along the way have been brilliant.

“The only problem we’ve had has been the bad weather – it’s been difficult but very pleasurable.”

Wainwright’s route begins at St Bees in Cumbria, on the Irish Sea. It crosses the Lake District, the Pennines, and the Yorkshire Dales, the Vale of York before reaching the North Sea coast at Robin Hood’s Bay.

The challenge got underway on September 26 after being postponed twice due to the pandemic, and finished on Sunday. It has already raised nearly £12,000 for Brain Tumour Research in memory of Sean.

Sean’s mother, Jo, said: “We have been meeting people en route and their generosity has been incredible. Some have been emptying their pockets to give us all their change to donate.”

She said: “We feel we’re getting little messages from Sean every now and again to let us know he’s with us.

“Every time there’s a rainbow we associate it with Sean – they’re signs that he’s watching over us, and we’ve got a little urn with his ashes, as well as those interned at Greenacres, so he’s come on the walk with us.”

To add to the fundraising visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/walkingforseanc2c

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