When Dougie Mercer signed the multi-million pound stadium sponsorship deal at Bolton Wanderers it was in tribute to his late wife Bernadette.

She was a huge Whites fan and her dedication to her beloved Wanderers inspired him to invest a record sum into putting his company’s name on its front door.

Now the CEO of Westhougton based Toughsheet has teamed up with Boot Out Breast Cancer in his late wife's memory.

Dougie has become a trustee of the Bolton based charity and will help fundraise for equipment to detect breast cancer early.

He along with his daughter Eva Mercer will fundraise for the charity in memory of  Bernadette, who lost her life in her battle with breast cancer when Eva was just a young girl.

Dougie said: “My wife died several years ago from breast cancer, so I wanted to do something to also give back to the community as well.

The Bolton News: Bernie Mercer, Margaret Ayirgan, Debbie Dowie and Pauline Lythgoe.

“The machine will help identify breast cancer early so there is a higher chance to cure it.

Doug’s daughter Eva was only 12 when her mum died, and now at 18 will help in honouring her mum with fundraising for the charity.

He said: “I was pleased to be asked to be part of the charity.

“We want to do anything that we can do to help especially because I have seen the ramifications of cancer.

“It was devastating when I lost my wife. She was very brave and fought it.

“She was strong but it was also difficult for us and towards the end she was finding it hard and it changed our lives.”

Bernadette was diagnosed in 2009 and lost her battle to breast cancer in 2017.

She was a good friend to founder of the Boot Out Breast Cancer, Debbie Dowie, who is married to former professional footballer Iain Dowie.

The  two lived in Lostock before moving to Chorley.

A ball will take place at the Kimpton Clock Tower in Manchester to raise more money on September 9.

Debbie said: “Bernie and I both had breast cancer at the same time.

“She was a good friend to me and we are excited to welcome Doug and Eva on board and do something in memory of Bernie too.

“It’s a positive thing to do something as well for the girls.

“We want to make sure we can fundraise and continue doing what we do to give all women the chance to get detected early in their lives.”