A FORMER Royal Navy submarine weapons engineer who now uses his skills to keep radiotherapy machines in perfect health is using his military might to take on the Manchester Marathon.

Lee Nixon, from Middlewich, recently joined The Christie after a long career in the armed forces, and will be based at the specialist cancer treatment centre’s new facility which is currently being built in Macclesfield.

The 41-year-old explained: “When I left after 23 years' service, I wanted to start a second career within an organisation which had similar core values and ethos to the forces.

"It was during this research that I came across The Christie, and I realised that the basic components of military RADAR systems which I maintained were similar to that of linear accelerators – the huge machines which deliver radiotherapy treatment to thousands of Christie patients every year.

"It was obvious that not only could I transfer all my experience, but progress my skills further whilst helping to maintain and develop patient care.

"Living in Middlewich myself, I know how important The Christie's new centre will be to people in south and east Cheshire.

"It will save them so many hours of unnecessary travel by being able to be treated closer to home, and I’m thrilled my military skills will be put to good use."

Lee, who is married to Sarah and has three young children, is a keen runner and has done marathons before, but he decided to do this one to support the cause he now works for.

He added: "The Christie charity has made this new centre possible so I’m delighted to do my bit to raise money.

"I do a lot of running but marathons are always a challenge – it’s a challenge I take on knowing that what I do will be vital to helping cancer patients and I’m delighted to do my bit.”

The Manchester Marathon is the UK’s second largest marathon and takes place on Sunday, October 10.

The Christie charity supports the work of The Christie NHS Foundation Trust, providing services over and above what the NHS funds.