Marcus Stewart, a former Premier League star, has been diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease after 12 months of extensive medical testing.
Stewart played for eight different clubs over a 20-year period, including Bristol Rovers, Huddersfield Town, Ipswich Town, Sunderland, Bristol City, Yeovil Town, and Exeter City, and scored over 250 goals.
With 19 goals in 2000/01, he finished second to Jimmy-Floyd Hasselbaink in the Premier League top scorers chart, helping Ipswich to fifth place and qualification for the UEFA Cup. The striker also played over 100 games for Sunderland, helping the club return to the Premier League in 2004-05.
The 49-year-old has featured at every level of English professional football, and after retiring as a player, he moved into coaching and management, working at Exeter City, Bristol Rovers, and Walsall. Stewart is currently Yeovil Town’s Head of Player Development.
After his diagnosis, he said (via Sky Sports):
“I would like to take the opportunity to thank those closest to me for their unwavering support since my recent diagnosis.
“As I take the time to adjust, my intention is to continue to enjoy my work in football and spend time with my family.
“In the future, I would like to use my platform within football to help raise awareness around MND, but in the short-term, I would like to ask for privacy on behalf of myself and my family.”
Marcus and his wife Louise have also announced to set up a JustGiving page, with all proceeds benefiting the Darby Rimmer MND Foundation.
This is heartbreaking news, and everyone will be hoping Marcus recovers quickly from his illness.
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