Peter Hook completes Great Manchester Run in memory of The Smiths’ Andy Rourke
New Order and Joy Division co-founder Peter Hook ran the AJ Bell Great Manchester Run this morning (May 21) in honour of The Smiths’ Andy Rourke.
Rourke died earlier this week after “a lengthy illness with pancreatic cancer”. He was 59.
Speaking to BBC Sport after completing the Great Manchester Run, Hook told host Jeanette Kwakye that: “I lost a really good friend this week, Andy Rourke from The Smiths. I ran for you Andy, rest in peace.”
Hook has regularly taken part in the Great Manchester Run, raising money for the Manchester-based The Christie, which is the largest single-site cancer centre in Europe. Speaking about raising money for charity, Hook said: “We shouldn’t have to do it but we do, and we do it with great pleasure.”
Mo Farah crosses the finish line in Manchester for the final time 💨
One more race to go before retirement for the four-time Olympic champion.
Watch the Great Manchester Run LIVE now on @BBCOne & @BBCiPlayer: https://t.co/14guta59fu pic.twitter.com/Yiv0Jkb69w
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) May 21, 2023
“I lived in Withington on Circular Road next to The Christie for years and got used to seeing people going in for treatment. Around that time, I visited two great friends of mine there, who were being treated and saw the great work The Christie did. Unfortunately, neither Tony Wilson [Hook’s former manager] or [musician] Dave Dee survived, but the treatment they received helped them and their friends and families a lot,” Hook said in an interview with race organisers.
“Taking part in the race helped me realise the power of so many people coming together to help. We shouldn’t have to do it, but we need to at the moment. That feeling of hope and solidarity is really fantastic, never mind the sense of achievement when you finish.”
While Joy Division considered The Smiths rivals in their early days, Hook and Rourke went on to develop a close friendship. The pair formed bassist-supergroup Freebass in 2005, alongside Primal Scream and The Stone Roses’ Mani. Rourke also joined Peter Hook And The Light onstage several times to perform New Order tracks.
Speaking to inews, Hook said that Rourke was “in a completely different league and in a different style. He picked up our song ‘True Faith’ without any rehearsal. To see him in action was absolutely wonderful.”
“Andy was a vital part of The Smiths, along with drummer Mike Joyce. Without them, the band would not have been what they were,” Hook added.
Paying tribute to Rourke, Morrissey said: “He will never die as long as his music is heard. He was also very, very funny and very happy, and post-Smiths, he kept a steady identity – never any manufactured moves. I suppose, at the end of it all, we hope to feel that we were valued. Andy need not worry about that.”
Johnny Marr announced the news of Rourke’s passing in a statement that said: “Andy will be remembered as a kind and beautiful soul by those who knew him and as a supremely gifted musician by music fans.”