Sophie Arnold, reporter:

THREE-year-old Thomas Alcock suffers from cerebral palsy and his mum contacted us when she heard about a pioneering operation in America that could help him walk without help of a frame for the first time – but they needed £50,000 to pay for it.

The public’s reaction to Tom’s story was amazing – donations flooded in, as did the calls from people all over the north west wanting to fundraise for him.

Even now, several months later, people still ring asking if we can put them in touch with Jill Cropley, Tom’s mum, because they are running a marathon or climbing Kilimanjaro – and they want to do it for Tom.

Brian Gomm, news editor, who has worked at the Journal for more than 43 years:

ABOUT 15 years ago I revealed that Tyldesley RUFC were set to leave their Well Street home for a site off Astley Street.

‘Rubbish’, claimed the club’s hierarchy after the story was printed. I still have the letter sent to my editor-in-chief ridiculing my words.

I’ve since been to several gatherings at the club’s brilliant new home at St George’s Park.

The Journal prides itself on having good sources of information!