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Thousands raised for charity partners in daring abseil

Fundraisers reached new heights at Old Trafford last weekend to raise in excess of £30,000 each for Francis House Children’s Hospice and The Christie.

Thousands raised for charity partners in daring abseil

The annual event, organised by Manchester United Foundation, saw approximately 400 daredevil supporters abseil 140ft from the roof of the Sir Alex Ferguson Stand into the stadium to raise money for the club’s two local charity partners.

Among those taking part were Tracy and David Creighton (right), parents of Sally who had regular stays at Francis House for over eight years until May 2012.

Tracy said, “The abseil was fantastic, really good. I did it last year and was really nervous but I really enjoyed it today.  Everyone here knew of Sally and it’s been a really positive day, she would have really enjoyed the atmosphere and she’d have been first over the top if she could have done.”

Eric O’Neill, 59, from Stockport, was one of many who signed up to the challenge as a way of thanking The Christie for the care he has received since being diagnosed with prostate cancer.

He said; “It was absolutely fantastic and such an uplifting experience.  I did an abseil years ago but as I’m a big Manchester United fan it was even better to do it in the Theatre of Dreams!”

Eric, an electrical maintenance manager, was diagnosed with cancer last July.  He has since undergone surgery, radiotherapy and now has check-ups every six months.

He added, “This past year has been so uncertain and it was certainly a shock to receive a cancer diagnosis.  It does make you look at life completely differently though and appreciate everything so much more.  That’s why the abseil was extra special and it was such an honour to be surrounded by other fundraisers, all with the same goal.”

As part of Manchester United’s partnership with The Christie Charity, all money raised will go towards the development of a new Young Oncology Unit at the centre. These new state-of-the-art facilities will provide care and treatment to teenagers and young adults with cancer and related illnesses.

Similarly, the Francis House partnership project funds the employment of a team of Home Care nurses who provide an outreach care service for children with terminal and life-limiting illnesses so that the hospice can extend its fantastic service into the community, touching many more people’s lives.

Find out more about Manchester United's charity partnerships.