Ex-Premier League Golden Boot runner-up Marcus Stewart diagnosed with MND

Former Premier League great Marcus Stewart has been diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease aged just 49.

The Ipswich, Bristol Rovers and Huddersfield legend retired from the game in 2011, and is currently serving as Head of Development at Yeovil Town. But the former Premier League Golden Boot runner-up has received the devastating news that he is suffering with the rare condition that affects the brain and nerves.

Stewart scored 199 league goals during a stunning career, where he became a fan favourite over his 20-year stint in the game. And the Professional Footballers' Association has released the following statement on his behalf following the news.

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"Following 12 months of testing, former Bristol Rovers forward Marcus Stewart has been diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease (MND). Marcus’ playing career spanned 20 years. He amassed over 650 appearances at eight different clubs, including Bristol Rovers, Huddersfield Town, Ipswich Town, Sunderland, Bristol City, Yeovil Town and Exeter City, scoring over 250 goals.

"The Bristol-born striker also played at every tier of English professional football, including scoring 19 goals for Ipswich Town in the Premier League. He helped the Tractor Boys secure fifth place in 2000-2001 and qualify for the UEFA Cup.

"Since retirement, he has moved into coaching and management, working at Exeter City, Bristol Rovers and Walsall. Marcus is currently Head of Player Development at Yeovil Town."

Stewart 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." Although the diagnosis is rightfully alarming, as there is no known cure for MND, many people live with the condition for many years.

Stewart only joined Yeovil back in June, after spending the majority of his post-career at Bristol Rovers. He was assistant manager at Walsall as recently as 2019.

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