MS gathering nets celebrity backing

The MS Society has secured the support of Manchester United and is in talks with JK Rowling as it prepares to stage next April's Multiple Sclerosis Convention in Manchester.

More than 1,000 people attended the 2004 convention, which provides MS sufferers with information to help them improve their quality of life.

Next year's event will be its biggest yet and feature lectures from scientists involved in MS research and care.

The society has hired Manchester-based agency Bird Consultancy to promote the event and secure commercial partners. The charity's in-house PR team handled publicity for previous conventions.

Bird account manager Claire Keegan said JD Sports had been signed to produce special-edition 'MS tracksuits', while Manchester United has pledged its support in honour of former player Danny Wallace, who suffers from the condition.

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