“How can it happen to someone that healthy?”: Super-fit dad with ‘best body in Swinton’ dies aged 42 after heartbreaking cancer battle

A super-fit dad has died aged 42 after a heartbreaking battle with bowel cancer.

Adam Pope, who regularly visited the gym, was given the devastating diagnosis two years ago after passing blood.

The “amazing” fitness fanatic, whose friends joked had the “best body in Swinton”, developed a tumor and sepsis.

He died on February 12.

Adam’s wife Sarah told the Manchester Evening News: “He was passing blood, we thought it was just haemorrhoids but we got it checked out anyway.

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“His GP decided that he should get a biopsy. Before he knew it, he was sat in a waiting room at the Salford Royal.

“The news was such a shock.”

Adam, who treated his wife and daughter like a “queen and princess”, had a colostomy bag fitted and went through 15 to 18 rounds of chemotherapy.

But he kept active for as long as he possibly could.

Adam Pope passed away after a long and hard fought battle with cancer

Sarah said he’d have chemo on the Friday, his pump taken off on the Sunday, and that by the Wednesday he’s be ‘back in the gym’.

Childhood friend Craig Howell said: “How can it happen to someone that fit?

“He was a true gentleman and known for having the best body in Swinton.”

Despite being sick, Adam took part in a running challenge last year, to raise money in memory of his friend’s daughter.

It involved running four miles, every four hours, for 48 hours – and he took part in the last leg.

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Now, his friends are taking on the same challenge in his memory, after he passed away on February 12.

“We’re going to do it for him and his family instead,” Paul Jamieson said, who set up Layla’s Rainbow four years ago, after the death of his daughter.

“He’s a close friend and he’s well known in the area and he’s a good family man. We’re going to give the money to his Mrs and to The Christie,” he said.

Adam went into hospital to have an operation at the beginning of November last year.

Not even a week later, ‘he was in constant pain with the tumour’.

Adam with his wife Sarah

He wasn’t getting any better – and at the start of January – he was taken into The Christie hospital.

“And it turned out he got sepsis,” Sarah said.

Paying tribute to Adam, Sophie said: “He was amazing. He was loved by everybody.

“He was a family man. He loved me and his daughter Ellie. He treated us like his queen and princess.

“Everyone loved him. He never said a bad word about anyone.

“He’d talk to anyone. When we would go shopping, to the supermarket, he’d always say hello to people. He was the best.”

His best friend’s mum told Sarah that ‘all of Swinton is crying’.

“And she was right,” Sophie said.

“All of Swinton was crying that morning.”

Sophie was a couple years below Adam at Moorside High School.

“He was one of the popular lads, all of the girls fancied him,” Sarah said.

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Years later, she saw him out at Yachts in Swinton.

Adam was a big football fan and loved Manchester United

“I asked my mate so set me up with him and she did. That was about 22 years ago,” she said.

And in 2002, their daughter Ellie was born.

“She’s not having a good time at the moment. She was a daddy’s girl but she’s my rock as well. I don’t think I would have coped without her,” Sarah said.

Adam leaves behind his mum Janet, dad Steve, wife Sarah, and daughter Ellie.

The first leg of the challenge of running running four miles, every four hours, for 48 hours, will start this Friday, February 25, at 8pm.

The last will be on Sunday at 4pm – and the finishing point will be at Adam’s house – where there will be banners and balloons up in his memory.

To donate to the fundraiser, click here.


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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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