Phillip dealt blow by illness

A CRUEL blow was dealt to talented teenage runner Phillip Winkler – as illness forced him out of a prestigious race against runners from all over the UK.

The Whittingham youngster had been selected to represent the North East at last Sunday’s Virgin Money Giving Mini London Marathon on the back of a successful cross-country season.

But in the early hours of Saturday, the Morpeth Harrier was struck down with suspected appendicitis and, suffering with severe stomach pains, he was taken to Newcastle’s RVI, shortly before he was due to travel with his regional colleagues.

He spent two days in hospital and doctors said he was suffering from an unknown abdominal pain, which could be his appendix but added that the cause may never be known.

Missing out on the run was tough to take for the 15-year-old, especially as he had put in extra training for the big event.