I’m paying tribute to a real heroine

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A HALIFAX heritage leader has written West Yorkshire heroine Jane Tomlinson into the history books.

John Hargreaves, chairman of Halifax Civic Trust and history lecturer at Leeds Trinity University College, nominated the late Jane Tomlinson for entry into the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (ODNB).

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The award-winning historian said he wanted to recognise her extraordinary sporting and fundraising efforts during her battle with cancer.

Jane was diagnosed with terminal cancer in 2000 and given just six months to live but embarked on a series of sporting challenges to raise funds for cancer research.

Mr Hargreaves used her three autobiographies - which she wrote with her husband Mike - as well as news articles and an interview with her mother Joan to compile the entry but said it was hard to do justice to her achievements in a single article.

He said:” Everyone is aware in West Yorkshire of Jane’s huge achievements despite her health problems.

“She has left a lasting legacy - she raised £1.75m for cancer charities in her lifetime and fundraising in her name continues today.

“Her courage in facing her terminal illness and her athletic feats of endurance won her widespread admiration and affection.”

This article brings Mr Hargreaves’ portfolio of contributions to the ODNB to 36.

The historian has profiled many figures with a Yorkshire connection, including Harry Corbett, of Guiseley, and actor Wilfred Pickles, of Halifax.

l Who would you nominate?

Email: Yoursay@halifaxcourier.co.uk