About Mark…


Mark worked for National Grid and its predecessor companies for nearly 20 years. In that time he demonstrated many qualities but an overriding factor was his warmth of personality and ability to look on the bright side of life. Challenges were always approached in a positive manner with a smile on his face. Mark was always keen to ensure everybody was included in activities and events at work, this philosophy and his approach is firmly embedded in the Mark Rylance Challenge.

As a Governor of his daughters’ primary school he brought these same qualities to a different area of his life, and during his time looking after the school buildings and assets he laid the foundation for moving the school forward into a sustainable future.   

Mark was a dedicated family man, a lifelong Manchester City supporter, and a very good friend to many people. He was a keen cyclist often Mountain Biking in the hills close to home. He had a great sense of humour not least demonstrated by his request for the ride to start at John O Groats and finish at Lands End (the least popular direction for the ride) meaning we will be battling a head wind for most of the journey!

Mark remained very positive throughout his illness and during a brief return to work quickly became the centre of the workplace again. He is sadly missed, but fondly remembered by all who knew him.

The Mark Rylance Challenge will not only be a fantastic and exciting event but a fitting tribute to a person who always put others before himself and recognised the best qualities in everybody.


12 Responses to About Mark…

  1. Paul Walters, Nelson NZ says:

    Good luck to everyone involved, enjoy that new level of fitness!!
    Be inspired by the most positive person I have ever met and remember that cheeky smile whenever the going gets tough.

    • Janet Nixon (Marks sister) says:

      I know Mark would be absolutely overwelmed with the amount of people that will be joining in the bike ride challenge, whether it is doing the ride, supporting the riders, organising the route and the massive amount of time and effort that goes into all the other details. I would like to say an enormous THANK YOU to each and everyone of you, and I know that Mark will be with you every step ( or wheel turn ) of the way still smiling. Good luck to you all and no doubt I will see some of you during the challenge.

  2. Richard Vink says:

    For me Mark was one of the most cheerful and exuberant of friends – you could always rely on a smile and a great anecdote when picking our kids up from school or when we met up socially. Mark also took this disposition to his role as Governor, making attending the evening meetings that bit more enjoyable, but equally asking some quite searching questions (often in his own inimitable jestingly-but-serious style) to establish the best possible governance of the school.
    Mark has given us a typically fine challenge and I’m looking forward to riding a few inspiring stretches of road up in Scotland. He will also be pleased that the school can get involved in the build-up to the Challenge itself – I’m sure the kids will be inspired too.

  3. Brian Lyons says:

    I had a great time playing football and cycling with Mark. I know he loved his sport. He Played football Saturday and Sunday for many years. He took great pride in being the captain of Brazil…( yes Brazil!) on a Sunday morning at Hough End. I can still see him now with his new kit, a big smile, giving stick out to the other team members. He didn’t have it all his own way though… we often gave him plenty of stick which he would laugh about.
    He was always good for a laugh and didn’t take anything personally. He won many comical awards on the end of season nights
    out and took it all in good faith.
    On a more serious note Mark was always reliable and in a broader sense of the meaning, ” never let the team down”.
    He was always good fun and pleasant to be with and now is very much missed by everyone.

  4. Janet Rylance says:

    Mark was the best. He was a loving and devoted husband. He was a fantastic daddy. As time goes on we learn to cope, because we have to. As time goes by, we miss him more. He would be so proud of how well the girls are doing and their achievements. Just wish he was here to see it with his own eyes. We love you Mark and always will. xxx

  5. Brenda Rylance (Marks Mum) says:

    I would like to thank everyone who has joined in to
    make Marks wishes come true. He was a lovely lad
    and I was very proud of him.

  6. Theresa Ryan says:

    Good luck to all involved in Mark’s challenge it’s a great idea and a really worthy cause.
    Mark had such a lovely disposition so full of fun you always knew when he entered a room, there was always a little nudge, a cheeky smile and the repetitive jokes, which he could never finish for laughing. He was a very dear friend and is missed very much!!!
    When the going gets tough just think of Janet and the girls who have shown such courage and dignity, and never at anytime shown any self pity, Mark would be so proud of them.
    Let’s hope their courage and determination and Marks image drives you on!
    So bottoms down………… Good luck to one and all.

  7. Hannah Rylance says:

    Mark Rylance was the best daddy ever. He was a brave man and a City fan. Good luck to everybody who is doing the bike ride, I am also doing the bike ride as well for my daddy.
    Lets hope Manchester City win the cup because my dad would love it.

  8. Olivia Rylance says:

    My daddy was a brave man and a city fan. He was the best daddy ever. Wish you all luck for the bike ride and hope you all enjoy it. Lets hope city win the cup!!!!!!!!!


  9. Chippy says:

    Good luck to everyone taking part in this special event.
    Mark would be proud of you all and was no shirker when it came to helping others.
    I’ll be at Wembley this weekend with the lads thinking of a City win and thinking of Mark.
    Im sure he’ll be cheering everyone on.

  10. Nellie says:

    Well its now our turn to don the gear, beat the feet and hopefully keep them wheels rolling for a worthy cause and a true friend. No doubt, ‘The Big cheese’ will be having a little mischievous chuckle to himself on Saturday, from the comfort of his ‘Sky Blue’ arm chair cheering on his beloved City, a Bacardi and coke in one hand and a mobile in the other, ready to wind up as many of us reds as possible. I only wish he could.
    Saturdays motto will be ‘City today to win away’ as long as Utd take a point.
    Finally, Mark would have been extremely proud and honoured of everyone participating or contributing to this event, especially as it is in his name, so lets hope we can make him even prouder by acheiving the goal and hitting the target.


  11. Olivia Rylance says:

    I loved my daddy. He was the best daddy in the whole wide world. He was a brave man and a city fan. Sadly he passed away. I miss him so much.
    xxxxxxxxxxx Olivia

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