Prof Stephen Hawking says Motor Neurone disease will never hold him back

Prof Stephen Hawking has defied the odds and will celebrate his 75th birthday next year Credit: ITV News Anglia

Professor Stephen Hawking has described how MND will never hold him back - and how he dreams of going into space.

The Cambridge cosmologist, whose story was told in the Oscar-winning movie "The Theory of Everything", was the key note speaker at Headway Suffolk's conference at Adastral Park near Ipswich.

"Space - here I come!" he told the audience of more than 500 people.

Prof Hawking has defied doctors' predictions for more than 50 years since contracting a form of MND in 1963, at the age of 21.

He was the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge from 1979 to 2009, a position originally held by Isaac Newton. He published his best-selling book "A Short History of Time" in 1988.

Eddie Redmayne won an Oscar for his performance as Stephen Hawking in Credit: PA Wire

Helen Fairweather, Chief Executive of Headway Suffolk, said: "In my opinion, Professor Stephen Hawking is the most intelligent man to walk the planet. It is an unimaginable honour to have him speak."

Headway Suffolk supports 250 people a week who have conditions such as MND or have suffered a brain injury or stroke.

The conference was about the latest research into neurological conditions and featured speakers from Addenbrooke's and Ipswich hospitals.