BOLTON boxing sensation Amir Khan has added his backing to a campaign calling for a Cancer Information And Support Centre at the Royal Bolton Hospital.

The British IBF and WBA Light Welterweight title holder has become the latest celebrity from the town, including Professor Alan Ashworth, Maxine Peake, Mark Radcliffe and Dave Spikey, to call for the centre.

It would provide facilities from practical advice to emotional support, as well as information on complementary therapies and wig fitting.

Macmillan Cancer Support was initially going to fund the centre.

NHS Bolton, the local primary care trust (PCT), would then have picked up the cost.

But the scheme fell at the final hurdle when the PCT decided it could not commit to funding.

Health bosses at the organisation have also stressed information is already being provided and this is best done through clinicians.

Amir said: “So many people get cancer, probably every one of us knows someone fighting their own personal battle with the disease. This centre would be there to help and I’m pleased to be able to assist in bringing this campaign to the public’s attention. I hope the centre gets the go ahead soon.’”

More than 12,000 people have signed a petition calling for NHS Bolton to overturn its decision. Karen Elliott, chairman of Bolton Cancer Patients and Carers Consultative Group, said: “With the number of supporters we’ve attracted our campaign must rank locally as one of the most highly responded to public engagement exercises on a health-related issue and we trust such robust evidence, which clearly demonstrates what people want, will not go unheeded.”

Campaigners have also made representations to the two GP consortia in Bolton.

NHS Bolton said it already provided services such as “information prescriptions”, which is tailored advice for cancer patients.

A spokesman has said: “We looked at the proposals on two occasions and, after careful consideration, decided our priority must be prevention, diagnosis and treatment.”

If you have an event the cancer group can attend, call Miss Elliott on 01204 595562.