Sir Steve Redgrave has joined up with Specsavers and RNIB to highlight the risks of blindness linked to diabetic retinopathy.

This campaign follows joint research showing one in five adults are unaware opticians can check for indicators of the condition.

The Olympic rower explained that after being diagnosed with type two diabetes in 1997, losing his sight was one of his biggest worries, as his diabetes meant he was 25 times more likely to than people without the condition. He will be raising awareness of good eye care, and detecting and managing the condition.

Redgrave said: ‘An estimated one million people in the UK are living with the condition without even realising it – meaning they’re at huge risk of developing serious eye health complications and even sight loss.’

Dr Nigel Best, clinical spokesperson at Specsavers, added: ‘Diabetic retinopathy is one of the leading causes of blindness among people of working age in the UK so it’s hugely important that diabetes is detected early and monitored correctly to avoid furthering the risks.’

Research showed 40% are unaware that blindness is one of diabetes’ biggest complications.