Former Sheffield United and Doncaster Rovers striker Billy Sharp has set up a research fund in memory of his son who died aged just two days old.
The Luey Jacob Sharp Foundation, named after his son, has linked up with children’s medical research charity Sparks to set up the Gastroschisis Research Fund.
Luey Jacob died as a result of gastroschisis, which affects around 1 in 3,000 babies in the UK.
It is a birth defect where a baby’s intestines grow outside the body wall.
The LJS Foundation was set up by Billy and his partner Jade Fair in January 2012 after their son’s death.
Billy said: “I’m very proud Sparks have agreed to partner with the Luey Jacob Sharp Foundation.
Research into gastroschisis is something very close to my heart.
“The pain of losing your child is almost unbearable.
“The partnership will allow us both to reach out to medical researchers who want to improve outcomes for gastroschisis, with the aim of ensuring no family has to endure what Jade and I have.”
Jade said: “We want to take this opportunity to thank Sparks for partnering with the Luey Jacob Sharp Foundation.
“It is a great pleasure for us, as we will collaborate to fund vital research into gastroschisis.”
See www.ljsfoundation.org.uk for more information and www.sparks.org.uk