Former Premier League striker Marcus Stewart has been diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease (MND) after 12 months of testing.
Stewart, whose .ing career spanned 20 years, 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.
He was runner-up to Jimmy-Floyd Hasselbaink in the Premier League top scorers chart with 19 goals in 2000/01, helping Ipswich secure fifth place and qualify for the UEFA Cup.
The 49-year-old also .ed at every tier of English professional football, and since retirement, has moved into coaching and management, working at Exeter City, Bristol Rovers and Walsall.
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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.”
Stewart and his wife Louise have set up a JustGiving page with all proceeds going to the Darby Rimmer MND Foundation.