Tributes to inspirational Wakefield Harrier Kelly Johnson

Sportswoman of the year Kelly Johnson l
Sportswoman of the year Kelly Johnson l

Tributes have been paid to a Wakefield Harrier who has died from cancer following a 20-month battle.

Kelly Johnson has been described by friends and family as an “inspiration” following her battle with an aggressive form of the disease on her spinal cord.

The 28-year-old was diagnosed in February 2012. Her dad Alan died from cancer four months before.

Miss Johnson, a former teaching assistant from Sowerby Bridge, held the Yorkshire title for the 800m five times between 2006 and 2010, and in 2009, she was named Halifax Evening Courier’s Sportswoman of the Year.

She qualified for the Olympic trials in Birmingham in 2008, but couldn’t compete in them last year due to the cancer.

Her mum Pat said her daughter had to endure non-stop chemotherapy and radiotherapy before being told there was nothing more doctors could do for her last September.

Mrs Johnson said: “Kelly was lovely. She was just so kind and was the best daughter and sister ever.”

Miss Johnson ran with the Halifax Harriers before moving to Wakefield Harriers in 2005.

Coach Bill Dance said: “Kelly was a popular and valuable member of the club’s teams.

“She competed with considerable success at her main event of 800m, the 400m and relays in the UKWL team and the Northern League Team. Kelly also was a member of the Senior Women’s Road and Cross Country Teams.”

Her funeral will be held on Monday, December 2, at 11.15am at Park Wood Crematorium, Elland.