Former international footballer, manager and Sky Sports pundit Graeme Souness is swimming the English Channel for charity this summer.

Graeme is aiming to raise £1.1million to stop the pain of epidermolysis bullosa (EB) when he takes on the challenge next month.

His good friend, 14-year-old Isla Grist, is living with recessive dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa and has made a deep impression on Graeme.

He explained: “From the time I have spent with Isla and her family, I have seen first-hand the extreme pain this devastating condition causes and the daily challenges it creates for them.

The National: Graeme Souness and 14-year-old Isla GristGraeme Souness and 14-year-old Isla Grist (Image: DEBRA)

“I wanted to do something that could make a difference to Isla’s life and to the lives of so many others living with EB and the slightly crazy idea of swimming the English Channel was suggested.

“Now I’m not one to walk away from a challenge but this is all new to me; despite living by the sea for the past 16 years, I’ve never been in it, and Isla is the only reason I did.

“Alongside Isla’s dad, Andy, and the rest of the team, I am determined to complete the Channel crossing, to raise awareness of EB, and to raise the funds that DEBRA so desperately needs.

“Please support me, every pound raised gets us one step closer to a world where no one suffers with the pain of EB”.

The money raised from Graeme’s swim will go to DEBRA, the butterfly skin charity, , to clinically test drugs already available within the NHS that could radically improve quality of life for people living with EB.

You can sponsor Graeme and the team’s English Channel swim here.

The football legend, who recently celebrated his 70th birthday, will be taking to the water on Sunday, June 18.

It is estimated the swim could take up to 16 hours, as he aims to raise £1.1million for the charity, symbolic of his former number 11 jersey.

EB is a rare and incredibly painful genetic skin blistering condition affecting an estimated 5,000 people in the UK and 500,000 globally.

It causes the skin to blister and tear at the slightest touch and can affect the hands and feet only or in the most severe cases any part of the body, including blistering on the eyes and internal organs.