In a shocking turn of events, Bolton Wanderers have just announced that their former Liverpool and Bradford City right-back Stephen Darby has had to retire from football with immediate effect having been diagnosed with motor neurone disease (MND).
Darby joined us from Bradford City in 2017 though failed to establish himself in the first team. He also counts appearances for Liverpool, Swindon Town, Notts County, Rochdale and Bradford on his CV throughout a career of almost 330 senior appearances at professional level.
MND is a neurodegenerative disease that attacks the upper and lower motor neurones, which are specialised cells which transmit electrical nerve impulses, carrying information from one part of the body to another. Degeneration of the motor neurones leads to weakness and wasting of muscles, causing various combinations of increasing loss of mobility in the limbs, and difficulties with speech, swallowing and breathing. Not everyone living with MND experiences all these symptoms - for example, it is possible to have speech that is clear and can be understood throughout the illness.
You can read more about the condition here - http://www.healthtalk.org/peoples-experiences/nerves-brain/motor-neurone-disease-mnd/first-symptoms-mnd#ixzz5RRkYXrWI
It goes without saying that we wish him and his family all the best as they face this next challenge together. Good luck.