Scots football legend and former Sky pundit Graeme Souness is set to swim across the English Channel for charity.
The former Liverpool, Rangers and Scotland player hopes to raise £1.1m after meeting a little girl with a rare genetic condition.
Isla Grist, from the Black Isle, near Inverness, has Dystrophic Recessive Epidermolysis Bullosa.
The condition means the 14-year-old’s skin is extremely fragile, causing tearing, blistering and extreme pain at the slightest touch.
Souness, 70, will take on the 16-hour swim on June 18, swimming 21 miles between Dover and Calais.
He will be accompanied by a six-person team, which includes Isla’s father Andy, with the aim to raise £1.1m for UK butterfly skin charity Debra.
“From the time I have spent with Isla and her family, I have seen first-hand the extreme pain this devastating condition causes and the daily challenges it creates for them,” he said.
“I wanted to do something that could make a difference to Isla’s life and to the lives of so many others living with EB and the slightly crazy idea of swimming the English Channel was suggested.”
“Now I’m not one to walk away from a challenge but this is all new to me; despite living by the sea for the past 16 years, I’ve never been in it, and Isla is the only reason I did.
“Alongside Isla’s dad, Andy, and the rest of the team, I am determined to complete the Channel crossing, to raise awareness of EB, and to raise the funds that DEBRA so desperately needs.
“Please support me, every pound raised gets us one step closer to a world where no one suffers with the pain of EB.”
All money raised will go towards enabling Debra UK to clinically test drugs already available within the NHS that could radically improve quality of life for people living with Epidermolysis Bullosa.
More information is available via the fundraising page for Souness’ English Channel swim.
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