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Ipswich Town legend Marcus Stewart diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease

Ryan Sidle

Published 
| Last updated 

Ipswich Town legend Marcus Stewart diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease

Ipswich Town icon Marcus Stewart, best known for his debut season in the Premier League, has been diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease.

The 49-year-old had joined the backroom staff at former club Yeovil Town earlier this year and he put out a statement via the club and the PFA on Thursday.

"Following 12 months of testing, former Bristol Rovers forward Marcus Stewart has been diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease (MND)," the statement read.

"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, helping the Tractor Boys secure fifth place in 2000-2001 and qualify for the UEFA Cup.

Stewart was best known for his goals for Ipswich. Image: Alamy
Stewart was best known for his goals for Ipswich. Image: Alamy

"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.

"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.'

"Everyone at Yeovil Town and the 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."

The striker played for Yeovil towards the end of the season. Image: Alamy
The striker played for Yeovil towards the end of the season. Image: Alamy

The striker started his career with hometown club Bristol Rovers in 1991, making 171 league appearances for the club, before signing for Huddersfield Town in 1996, after scoring against them in a losing cause in a Second Division play off.

He then earned a move to Ipswich and helped them get promoted from Division One, now the Championship, into the Premier League.

In his first season in the top tier he scored 19 times, making him the league's second top scorer, and helped the Tractor Boys finish fifth in the league, and qualify for the UEFA Cup.

He moved to Sunderland in 2002 before returning to his home city, this time to sign for Bristol City, in 2005, and ended his career with moves to Yeovil Town and Exeter City.

Marcus and his wife Louise have set up a JustGiving page with all proceeds going to the Darby Rimmer MND Foundation. You can support and donate here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/louise-stewart254.  

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Ipswich Town, Sunderland, Bristol City

Ryan Sidle
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