English football legend Andy Cole announces research funding of £250,000 for Peterborough-based charity Kidney Research UK to join their fight against kidney diseases.

The former Manchester United striker has worked in collaboration with the Peterborough-based charity to launch the Andy Cole Fund Grant Awards, to help accelerate research into the condition that he has personal experience of. 

Cole established the fund with Kidney Research UK after developing kidney disease and going on to receive a life-saving transplant from his nephew. 

His experience of transplantation and challenges with his own mental health following his diagnosis inspired the fund’s research goals.

This is the first set of grants to be awarded from the fund, with a total of £250,000 available for research that will focus on transforming transplantation to improve patient experiences, particularly in relation to mental health. 

Andy Cole said: “I set up the Andy Cole Fund to make a difference. I’m determined that we will find the best ways to support kidney patients’ mental health and improve the transplant experience. 

“Kidney disease is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to deal with. We’ve got to make it better for others and research is the answer. I’m excited to see what projects we can fund through the Andy Cole Fund Grant Awards to help change the game for kidney patients.”

Kidney Research UK is now looking for talented researchers, scientists, clinicians (including nurses and allied health professionals) and innovators from across the UK to apply for funding.

Sandra Currie, chief executive at Kidney Research UK said: “When Andy established the Andy Cole Fund, he wanted to focus on making a difference in areas that have affected him personally, aiming to help people live longer, healthier and happier lives with kidney disease.

"It’s an absolute pleasure working with him, and it’s great to be opening the fund for applications.

"All researchers who are interested in being part of this drive to improve transplant outcomes for patients or to reduce the mental health burden of kidney disease should apply now and be part of the change.”

Applications are now open, and initial expressions of interest must be submitted by Tuesday August 29. You can find more information here.