Test tube baby pioneer dies aged 87

Test tube baby pioneer dies aged 87

BATLEY-BORN fertility pioneer Sir Robert Edwards, whose scientific advances have given children to millions of couples, has died aged 87. The Nobel Prize-winner died on Wednesday after a long illness.

In the 1960s and 70s Sir Robert, alongside colleague Dr Patrick Steptoe, developed the In-Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) technique.

It led to the first test-tube baby – Louise Brown – being born in Oldham in 1978 and has since helped millions of couples with fertility problems.

He had a long wait for a Nobel Prize, which was awarded for medicine in 2010.

A knighthood followed a year later.

For many years the former University of Cambridge expert was widely and wrongly thought to have been born in Manchester, not Batley.

But Sir Robert was born at the Batley Maternity Hospital after his father, a railway tunneller, moved to the area for work.

The family moved from Oakhill Road to Leeds Road, Howden Clough, and only moved to Manchester some years later.

Last September a commemmorative tree was planted in Batley in his honour.

The Mayor of Kirklees Coun David Ridgway performed the ceremony near Bagshaw Museum and his daughter, Dr Jenny Joy, was there on his behalf.

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