M eet Captain America, one of the Superheroes of Sale who have captured hearts during one of the town’s toughest periods.
Chances are that Captain America, Spiderman, Batman, Superman and Mr Incredible have been running down your road over the last few weeks.
Their aim was to spread a little happiness for families facing lockdown and as far as everyone is concerned it has been mission accomplished.
Matt Keen, from Brooklands, is a teacher at Urmston Primary School and dusted off a Captain America costume he once wore for the Great Manchester Run for his adventure around Sale.
Matt said: “All I wanted to do was to bring a smile to people’s faces and the reaction has been incredible. An hour after setting up a Facebook page it had gone ballistic with 125 requests from people wanting me to run past their house.
“The five of us who dress up as Superheroes didn’t know each other before it all started, but now we share maps and routes and will occasionally bump into each other when we’re out running.
“The whole thing has created a community spirit which is so important at this difficult time. It gets me out and although I’m not teaching kids at the moment, I’m entertaining them and feel like I’m making a difference.”
Matt runs an average of seven or eight miles most days of the week, pausing outside homes for photographs.
Children dress up in their own favourite costume to meet the Superheroes but it is not just the youngsters excited to see them. Today he made a surprise visit to an Ashton-on-Mersey resident celebrating his 101st birthday.
Last week the Superheroes staged a joint run while observing social distancing rules, meeting in the car park at the Eskdale Lodge Hotel run by Garvan Smith, otherwise known as Batman.
Frank Tsang (Mr Incredible), Gordy Mills (Batman, Superman, Deadpool), and Richard Owens (Spiderman, Batman) are the other runners behind the colourful costumes.
Matt added: “We’ll carry on running in costume for as long as we get requests. I went out for a run on my rest day minus my costume and was a little disappointed no-one peeped their horn or waved.
“The response has been amazing and we want to thank everyone for the generous reception we’ve had everywhere. It’s been quite overwhelming.”
* Captain America can be found at facebook.com/captainamericarunning.
* The Superheroes of Sale are at facebook.com/524130918279211.
Members of the public have insisted on making donations and more than £1,000 has already been raised for Ronald McDonald House Charities. Visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/superheroesofsale2020.