BREAST cancer survivor Debbie Dowie and her former footballer husband Iain have signed up for the Bupa Great Manchester Run.

The couple, who live in Bolton, hope to raise awareness for their charity Boot Out Breast Cancer, which has so far raised more than £450,000 for diagnostic equipment for various hospitals in the North West.

Mrs Dowie, whose husband played for Southampton, Crystal Palace and West Ham United and earned 59 caps for Northern Ireland before becoming a manager and later a Sky TV football pundit, set up the charity four years ago after she became a victim of the disease.

After surgery Mrs Dowie recovered without needing chemotherapy, and has since been working tirelessly to help raise money for vital NHS hospital equipment.

Last month the charity’s Bollywood-themed annual ball raised more than £125,000 to help fund a new ultrasound machine for the Nightingale Centre at UHSM in Wythenshawe, and a new scientific chemotherapy scalp cooling cap for the Macmillian Cancer Centre at Leighton NHS Hospital in Crewe.

Mrs Dowie said: “Neither of us have run in the Manchester 10k before but we’ve been told what a marvellous day it is and this is a good way of further helping raise the profile of our charity.

“There are a lot of breast cancer charities but there’s a real need for state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment which will change the lives of thousands.

“I was very lucky because the Royal Bolton Hospital caught my breast cancer early and after surgery I told the surgeon I wanted to do something to help.”

The Bupa Great Manchester Run is taking place on Sunday, May 18. For more information visit