Yeovil Town Head of Player Development Marcus Stewart has announced he has been diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease (MND).
The former Glovers’ striker joined the coaching staff in a part-time capacity at Huish Park upon the arrival of manager Chris Hargreaves in the summer and has been on the touchline for a number of matches this season.
Having been diagnosed following a year of testing, the 49-year-old has made it clear he intends to continue his role in football.
In a statement on Thursday, Marcus said: “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.”
The statement added: “Everyone at Yeovil Town and the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) is committed to supporting Marcus and his family in whatever way we can. We know the same will be true of fans of Marcus’ previous clubs and the wider football family.”
Marcus and his wife, Louise, have set up a JustGiving page for people to be able to donate to the Darby Rimmer MND Foundation, set up by ex-Bolton Wanderers and Bradford City player Stephen Darby and RAF veteran Chris Rimmer who both live with the condition.
The Foundation aims to raise awareness and funding to assist research in to the illness and raise funds to support those with MND.
The Stewart’s fund-raising page is available here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/louise-stewart254
In his playing career, Marcus Stewart spent nearly two years at Yeovil Town scoring 12 times including the memorable strike which forced extra time in the unforgettable League One play-off semi final second leg at Nottingham Forest in 2007.
He played for more than two decades making over 650 appearances for clubs including both Bristol clubs and Exeter City, scoring more than 250 goals.
What is Motor Neurone Disease or MND?
The Motor Neurone Disease Association describes the condition as:
MND is the short term for motor neurone disease, which affects the nerves known as motor neurones. These nerves are found in the brain and spinal cord and they help tell your muscles what to do.
With Motor Neurone Disease, known as MND, messages from the motor neurones gradually stop reaching the muscles.
This leads the muscles to weaken, stiffen and waste, which can affect how you walk, talk, eat, drink and breathe. Some people also get changes to their thinking and behaviour, but the disease affects everyone differently.
Not all symptoms will affect everyone, or in the same order. Symptoms also progress at varying speeds, which makes the course of the disease difficult to predict.
MND is life-shortening and there is no cure. Although the disease will progress, symptoms can be managed to help achieve the best possible quality of life.
For more information about MND and the Darby Rimmer Foundation, visit:
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