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Season 2008/09

Bosses boost 20m hospital appeal

  • 02 March 2009 11:47
  • Posted byPeter Ferguson

Mark Huges and his cross-city rival Sir Alex Ferguson bridged the divide between Manchester's Premier League giants with smiles all the way as a vital project close to both their hearts nears fruition.

Blues manager Hughes and his old United boss Sir Alex have given their full support, along with other leading north-west football figures, to the New Children's Hospital Appeal that now stands £2million short of its £20m target.

Mark and Fergie were delighted to meet Saddleworth parents Paul and Jenny Barrett, whose 15-month-old twins William and Lucy were the first youngsters to cross a 74-metre bridge linking the Children's Hospital with Manchester Royal Infirmary.

The Appeal, which is City's chosen charity for 2008-09, is providing state-of-the-art equipment for the hospital, which opens later this year, as well as accomodation for parents to sleep close to their children.

Jenny, whose twins were born three months premature and needed heart surgery, said: "It's an exciting project for parents. You don't want to leave your children when they're in hospital. It's the most trying time of your whole life."

Hughes and Ferguson both had big matches to prepare for, but they were happy to find the time to join forces to help raise awareness and give the huge Appeal one last push with the hospital due to open in June.

City are supporting an outdoor play facility while United are providing pull-down beds for the parents who stay over.

Mark said: "The club is very proud of its links with the local community - we stay in tune with what's happening in our own area and this hospital is going to be a fantastic facility for the families of Manchester.

"We're hoping that in the coming months the final £2m will be raised to put the finishing touch to a great project. City and United are truly united in this respect, because it's Manchester and the region that will benefit."

Appeal chairman Maurice Watkins said: "We were delighted to welcome Sir Alex and Mark to see how remarkable this new facility will be. Both managers and their clubs appreciate the difference our £20m Appeal will make to thousands."

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