Page last updated at 15:28 GMT, Saturday, 10 April 2010 16:28 UK

Sir Ian starts anniversary charity walk in Manchester

Sir Ian Botham
Sir Ian Botham said has the walk has been "brilliant" so far

Former cricketer Sir Ian Botham has marked the 25th anniversary of his first charity walk by starting another trek from Manchester.

Sir Ian will be walking through 10 towns over the next 10 days, raising money for Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research.

The former England captain has raised £12m for the charity, since his first walk in 1987.

"Manchester has been brilliant," Sir Ian, 54, told BBC Radio Manchester.

"It is a great day - the sun's out. That's a great omen."

Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research, of which Sir Ian is president, researches blood cancers, including leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma.

'Quite remarkable'

About 28,500 children, teenagers and adults in the UK are diagnosed with the cancers every year.

Sir Ian said: "Twenty-five years ago, in the mid 1980s when we did our first walk, children had a 20% or less chance of survival. Now it's a 90% chance.

"That is quite remarkable in such a short period of time. What you have to remember that is only one type of cancer, cancer of the blood, so who knows what other doors we can open."

Sir Ian is due to walk through Birmingham, Worcester, Bristol, Winchester, Epsom, Reading, Milton Keynes and Chelmsford before finishing in London on 19 April.

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