A £4MILLION appeal to buy a state of the art scanner to help save the lives of seriously ill children has today reached the half way stage – thanks to bookmaker Fred Done.

Betfred boss Fred has donated all profits amounting to an amazing £1.25million from over-the-counter bets made on Tuesday at his 1,630 betting shops to the iMRI Appeal. That was the first day of the world-famous Cheltenham Festival, traditionally one of the busiest days in the horse racing calendar. Plus Manchester City also hosted Schalke in the Champion’s League in the evening.

With hardly any favourites winning at the Festival it was a big money making day for Betfred… unlike Wednesday and Thursday where the punters came out on top.  That meant it was brilliant news for the appeal whose fund has now reached the half way stage after Fred turned up at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital today for a surprise presentation, stunning cheering staff by making a much bigger than expected donation.

The appeal, which will fund state-of-the-art intra-operative Magnetic Resonance Imaging (iMRI) equipment, will be used to help children from across the North West region being treated for debilitating and life-threatening conditions such as brain tumours, traumatic brain injuries and problems with the central nervous system and epilepsy.

The appeal particularly resonated with family man Fred, aged 75, as he lost his wife Mo last year after she was diagnosed with a brain tumour.

Betfred boss Fred Done said: “It is truly humbling that I have been able to help with this appeal for much-needed equipment.  I think Mo had a word with God telling him to give some help to the children.  There could not have been a better result for the scanner appeal than the Cheltenham Festival on Tuesday.

“From my own sad experience, I know how important it is to have world-class equipment available to help save the lives of your loved ones. The new scanner will save the lives of seriously ill children brought to Manchester from all over the country and that is a fitting tribute to Mo’s memory.  I feel privileged that I have been able to help.”

The donation provides a major, much-needed boost to buy the iMRI scanner which will be based at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital and will transform brain surgery for some of the 270,000 children who are treated there each year.

The iMRI will allow for surgeons to scan a child during the operation itself, while they are still in a safe, sterile environment.

Currently patients can wait days after a procedure until they are well enough for another scan, this can be an agonising and stressful time for young patients and their families. The iMRI will mean better outcomes for patients with more accurate surgeries, fewer surgeries and reduced risk of infections


Kathy Cowell OBE DL, Chairman of Manchester Foundation Trust, said: “We’re incredibly grateful to Fred Done for his commitment to our cause.  This staggering donation will make a huge difference to this life saving and life changing Appeal taking us to the half way stage of the money we so desperately need. We cannot thank Fred enough for his support.”