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Last Updated: Tuesday, 4 September 2007, 14:50 GMT 15:50 UK
Radcliffe tribute for Tomlinson
By Frank Keogh

Paula Radcliffe and Jane Tomlinson
Radcliffe said Jane Tomlinson was a huge inspiration
Paula Radcliffe has paid a heartfelt tribute to fundraising cancer sufferer Jane Tomlinson following her death after a long battle with the disease.

Marathon world record holder Radcliffe presented Tomlinson with the BBC's Helen Rollason Award for bravery at the Sports Personality show in 2002.

"I feel it was a great privilege to have known her," she told BBC Sport.

"She was an amazing person and a huge inspiration not only to other cancer sufferers but to many other people."

Mrs Tomlinson, a terminal cancer sufferer, died aged 43 after a seven-year battle with the disease.

The married mother-of-three from Leeds had raised 1.75m in a series of gruelling challenges and wrote a biography with her husband Mike.

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"I was greatly saddened to hear that Jane had passed away and my thoughts are with Mike and her family," said Radcliffe.

"She fought so bravely and so strongly and through her inspirational exploits raised huge amounts to help others fight this terrible disease. She will be greatly missed."

After being told in 2000 that her breast cancer was incurable, Mrs Tomlinson dedicated her life to raising money for charity and completed a string of events, including the Great North Run, London Marathon and the Ironman UK Triathlon.

She was made a CBE earlier this year, one of several honours for her fundraising work.

Paula Radcliffe presents the Helen Rollason Award to Jane Tomlinson in 2002
Radcliffe presented the Helen Rollason Award to Jane Tomlinson
The story of Mrs Tomlinson first became widely known after she was honoured by the BBC before millions of television viewers in 2002.

Radcliffe presented her with the Helen Rollason Award, in memory of the former TV sports presenter who died of cancer, and given for courage in the face of adversity.

At the same event, Radcliffe was voted Sports Personality of the Year after winning the 5,000m at the Commonwealth Games in Manchester.

But she insisted Mrs Tomlinson was "a more deserving winner" than anyone else at the awards show.



SEE ALSO
Jane Tomlinson loses cancer fight
04 Sep 07 |  West Yorkshire
Brave Jane 'worthy of accolades'
04 Sep 07 |  West Yorkshire
PM 'saddened' by Tomlinson death
04 Sep 07 |  West Yorkshire
Obituary: Jane Tomlinson
04 Sep 07 |  UK News
In pictures: Jane Tomlinson
04 Sep 07 |  In Pictures
Jane's fighting spirit
08 Dec 02 |  Sports Personality 2002


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