Following 12 months of testing, former Exeter City 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, helping 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.
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.”
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.
Everyone at Exeter City 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.
For more information on MND, please visit: www.mndassociation.org.
Matt Taylor said: "Our thoughts straight away go to Marcus and his family. He is someone who had such an incredible career and did so much for the football club in his time here.
"We will try and support him as much as we can individually and as a football club."