A CAMPAIGN is set to be launched to persuade Rovers-mad dads that there is nothing wrong with seeing their babies born in Burnley.

The new £31million Lancashire Women and Children’s Centre is on course to open at the Burnley General Hospital site this November.

The state-of-the-art unit will deal with more complex births and women who prefer to see their babies delivered in a hospital setting.

Birthing centres are being created in tandem at the Royal Blackburn Hospital and the new Rossendale Health Hub in Rawtenstall, by East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, for straightfoward deliveries and natural births.

But medics are anxious to overcome the bitter football rivalry between the East Lancashire towns and are hoping to enlist the support of Blackburn Rovers players to overcome the ancient emnities of expectant fathers.

Simon Hill, the trust’s associate medical director and a leading figure behind the project, said: “The new building at Burnley is the Lancashire Women and Newborn’s Centre, which we think gives a sense that it is a facility for the whole of East Lancashire.

“We wanted to overcome the historic Blackburn and Burnley divide and say that this is a service for the entire area.”

Rovers and Clarets players will be approached to ensure that the initative is a success, the trust’s board has been told.

Mr Hill said: “We hope to encourage footballing dads, who do not want child to be born in Burnley, of the benefits.”

Martin Hill, a non-executive director of the trust, said: “You get so much tribalism, with people in Blackburn wanting everything remaining in Blackburn, and people in Burnley insisting everything must stay in Burnley.

“If we want a better and safer service then we have to work together across the two sites.”