Our President and Patrons

Patron – HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh KG KT OM GBE ONZ QSO AK GCL CC CMM

Prince Philip was born Prince of Greece and Denmark in Corfu in 1921. He renounced his foreign royal title when he became a naturalised British subject in 1947, the same year he married the Queen.

Since Princess Elizabeth became Queen in 1952, Prince Philip has provided an immense amount of support to her in her duties. Through his work with a wide range of charities, the Duke of Edinburgh has played a major national and international role in helping other people.

Prince Philip became Patron of the then Muscular Dystrophy Campaign in 1966 and has been a much-valued supporter for 50 years.

 

President – Gabby Logan

Born in Leeds to a sporting family, Gabby went on to represent Wales in rhythmic gymnastics at the 1990 Commonwealth Games in Auckland. She became a presenter for Sky Sports in 1996 before joining ITV and then the BBC. She is now the main host of athletics coverage for BBC Sport. In 2013, Gabby joined the presenting team for the annual BBC Sports Personality of the Year and remains one of the main hosts of the programme.

Gabby replaces Sue Barker as President, a role Sue held from 2004-2018.

Honorary Life President – Sue Barker OBE

Sue Barker - our Patron

Originally from Devon, Sue Barker is a television presenter and former professional tennis player. During her tennis career she won the Women’s Singles title at the French Open and reached a career-high singles ranking of World No. 3.

After retiring from tennis in 1985, Sue became a sports commentator. She joined the BBC to anchor tennis coverage at Wimbledon in 1993. Since joining the BBC Sue has become one of its chief sport presenters. She fronts key sporting events including the Olympics and is also the presenter of the popular quiz show A Question of Sport.

Through a great friendship with Lord Richard Attenborough, Sue Barker decided to follow in his footsteps by becoming President of Muscular Dystrophy UK (then the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign) in 2004. Sue became an Honorary Life President in 2018 and remains an invaluable representative for the charity, meeting hundreds of supporters and supporting numerous charity events.

Honorary Life President – Professor Martin Bobrow CBE FRS FMed Sci

Professor Martin Bobrow - Honorary Life PresidentThe Trustees were delighted when Professor Martin Bobrow accepted their invitation to become an Honorary Life President in 2013.

Professor Bobrow has made an outstanding contribution in the field of human genetics and has also been a longstanding supporter of Muscular Dystrophy UK. He served as Chair of the Board of Trustees (of the then Muscular Dystrophy Campaign) from 1995 to 2010.

In his distinguished career, he has held senior roles in higher education and clinical posts within the NHS. He was Professor of Medical Genetics at the University of Cambridge from 1995 to 2005. He also served as a Governor of the Wellcome Trust, a Council member of the Medical Research Council, and was a founding fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences.

He was a member of the Department of Health’s Gene Therapy Advisory Committee from 1989-1995 and Human Genetics Advisory Commission from 1996-1999.

Honorary Life President – J Alexander Patrick CBE DL

J Alexander Patrick - Honorary Life PresidentAlexander Patrick has been supporting the work of Muscular Dystrophy UK (previously the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign) for more than 50 years. He was the son of Joe Patrick, a founding member of the then Muscular Dystrophy Group and donor through the family charitable trust.

Alexander, a businessman from Kings Norton, founded our welfare fund, the Joseph Patrick Trust (JPT) in 1986 in memory of his father. He was inspired to do so by his brother who had the muscle-wasting condition, Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

Since its formation, the JPT has distributed more than £6m worth of grants to help people living with muscle-wasting conditions to secure over 6,000 pieces of life-changing equipment.

Patron – Professor Alan E. H. Emery

Emeritus Professor Alan E. H. Emery is a specialist in medical genetics and developed an interest in muscle disease. Emery-Dreifuss muscular dystrophy is named after Prof. Emery and American neurologist Fritz Dreifuss who first described the condition in the 1960s. Prof. Emery is also credited with being instrumental in setting up the European Neuromuscular Centre (ENMC), the hugely successful organisation which encourages collaboration amongst researchers worldwide.

Patron – Ian Corner

Ian Corner has been a prolific fundraiser and supporter of MDUK the mid-nineties. Ian formed a Manchester committee called Friends of Muscular Dystrophy (FMD) which held an annual sports dinner in the city raising up to £30,000. Ian was formerly the manager of the Thistle Hotel in Manchester which enabled him to develop a terrific network of friends and supporters including Sir Alex Ferguson who became a VP of the charity as a result. Over the years, Ian has contributed more than half a million pounds to MDUK and continues to support today.

Patron – Bill Ronald

Bill Ronald was Chairman of MDUK from September 2010 – September 2016. Bill’s involvement with the charity stems from having a young nephew with muscular dystrophy and his desire to make a difference. Bill has a sales and marketing background, having spent 23 years in a variety of roles at Mars, including Managing Director of the UK confectionery operation. Since leaving Mars, he has been Chief Executive Officer of Uniq and has held non-executive roles in Bezier, Halfords, Alfesca, Dialight and the Compleat Food Group. He is currently Chairman of Fox International and Non-Exec Chairman at Fever-Tree since 2013.

Patron – Sir Sydney Samuelson CBE 

Sir Sydney was appointed in 1991 by the government of the UK as the first British Film Commissioner, and stayed in the position for 6 years. He was chosen as the first chairman of the Management board of BAFTA in 1976 and is a permanent trustee. In 1985 he received the Michael Balcon Award and in 1993 a Fellowship of BAFTA, the Academy’s highest honour. He was the first President of the UK Jewish Film Festival. He remained in the role until 2005, and as of 2010 is currently the UKJFF Honorary Lifetime Patron. Sir Sydney’s relationship with the charity began as a result of his friendship with Lord Attenborough.

Patron – Keith Rushton 

Keith joined the charity (alongside his wife Joan) in 1974 when his son was diagnosed with DMD, his son passed away in 1986. Through his work in the electronics industry he was able to help researchers to develop equipment for Hammersmith and other muscle centres. He became a Trustee of the charity in 1976 and became Chair of the Management Committee in 1994, he has been Vice Chair since 2002. Keith has always been an active fundraiser, particularly via the Worthing Branch through his Charity Film Society and other ventures. Keith is a fellow of the Institute of Directors and has spent most of his working life in electronics and communications, spending 8 years in broadcast television, 12 years with British Airways and subsequently 9 years as Chairman or Chief Executive of over 15 companies in both Europe and USA

In memory of Peter Andrews MBE MC

It is with great sadness that we mark the passing of our newly appointed Patron, Peter Andrews MBE, MC (Honorary) who sadly died in February 2019.  Peter was an active supporter of MDUK for around 58 years. Peter and his late wife Nancy began their long support by organising fundraising events in Solihull for the charity which gained local interest from people who were affected by MD. Peter set about encouraging these local people to set up branches and it is thought that 8 branches started up as a result. In recognition of this, Peter was awarded an MBE for his services to MDUK having been nominated by a local supporter.  In the days before online shopping, Peter and Nancy used to organise the annual Christmas cards for the charity, running the whole operation themselves from choosing designs, selling and distributing them. Both Nancy and Peter knew Lord Attenborough and Lord Walton very well due to their long involvement with the charity.  Our thoughts are with his family at this very sad time.

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