Michael Owen sets his sights on London Marathon to help the Eye Hospital

Michael OwenWe are delighted that Michael Owen, Manchester United and England football star, has agreed to sponsor the Manchester Royal Eye Hospital Bicentenary "200 for 200" charitable appeal, running the Virgin Money London Marathon on our behalf. This is fantastic news for our appeal, and will also increase its national profile.

The former England striker who played for Liverpool, Real Madrid, Newcastle United, Manchester United and Stoke City said he hoped his support would help scientists and doctors develop new treatments for patients with inherited eye disorders - where currently there is no available cure.

Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Manchester Royal Eye Hospital, in partnership with he University of Manchester is making a major contribution to the future of genetic medicine through the Manchester Centre for Genomic Medicine.

Professor Chris Lloyd said: "We are absolutely delighted to have Michael's support for the fundraising being undertaken in this the 200th year of the Manchester Royal Eye Hospital through his run in the London Marathon".

Professor Graeme Black, who heads the Manchester Centre for Genomic Medicine, added:  "Manchester has developed an integrated clinical and research team that represents one of the largest clinical paediatric and eye services in Europe helping us to advance developments in Genomic Medicine.

"We are developing internationally-recognised gene testing protocols for diagnosis and exploring the development of new treatments for genetic disorders of the eye and improving treatments for childhood cataract. We are also improving participation in world-leading clinical trials.

"We have no doubt that Michael's support will further accelerate these developments."

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To support Michael please visit his virgin money fundraising page