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Stephen Darby retires from football

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1 Stephen Darby retires from football on Tue Sep 18 2018, 11:13

BoltonTillIDie

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
Bolton Wanderers defender Stephen Darby has sadly been forced to retire from football after being diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease.

The full back, who has been at the University of Bolton Stadium since the summer of 2017, received the diagnosis from a specialist recently.

Darby reunited with manager Phil Parkinson after signing a contract with Wanderers following his departure from Bradford City where he made 236 appearances during his five seasons in West Yorkshire.

Coming through the youth ranks of his hometown club Liverpool, the right-back made his first competitive appearance for the Reds as a substitute in a Champions League fixture against PSV Eindhoven in December 2008. The following year he made his first competitive start, again in the Champions League, against Fiorentina.

Following loan spells with Swindon Town, Notts County and Rochdale, Darby made the move to Valley Parade where he spent two seasons as club captain.

He said: “It is with great sadness that I announce my immediate retirement from professional football due to a recent diagnosis of Motor Neurone Disease.

“I would like to take the opportunity to thank my teammates, Phil Parkinson and all the staff at Bolton Wanderers Football Club for their amazing support at what has been an extremely difficult period for myself and my family.

“I would like to ask for privacy at this time so I can adjust to the battle I have ahead and so that I can spend time with those closest to me.”

Phil Parkinson added: “This is heart breaking news for Stephen and his family and the thoughts of everybody at Bolton Wanderers Football Club are very much with him and Steph.

“He is an outstanding professional and a fantastic person.

“He was simply magnificent during his time at Bradford and was a key figure in the resurgence of Bradford City as a football club.

“He typified everything the city and the football club represented and led by example on and off the pitch.

“The Bolton Wanderers fans didn’t see the best of him due to limited first team opportunities, but I can assure everyone that he made a significant contribution in last year’s survival.

“He constantly set high standards in training every day and encouraged and drove his fellow teammates on.

“All the staff and players at Bolton Wanderers Football Club think the world of him and are determined to give him every possible bit of support.”

Bolton Wanderers chairman Ken Anderson said: “We were all saddened when we found out that Stephen has to retire from the profession he loves.

“Stephen is very well thought of by everybody at Bolton Wanderers and he will always be welcome at the University of Bolton Stadium.

“Our thoughts are with him and his family and friends during this difficult time.”

For more information about Motor Neurone Disease (MND) please visit the MND Association’s Website by clicking [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.].

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Last edited by BoltonTillIDie on Tue Sep 18 2018, 11:14; edited 1 time in total

2 Re: Stephen Darby retires from football on Tue Sep 18 2018, 11:13

BoltonTillIDie

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
Very sad news

3 Re: Stephen Darby retires from football on Tue Sep 18 2018, 11:16

Norpig

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
Terrible news for him and his family, not a very nice illness to be diagnosed with. Hopefully he has insurance so he doesn't struggle financially in the future.

4 Re: Stephen Darby retires from football on Tue Sep 18 2018, 11:41

Sluffy

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Admin
Terrible news for him and his family.

Hope things turn out for him as best as they can.

5 Re: Stephen Darby retires from football on Tue Sep 18 2018, 11:53

Sluffy

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BOLTON Wanderers defender Stephen Darby has been forced to retire from football after being diagnosed with motor neurone disease.

The Liverpool-born 29-year-old defender confirmed the news in an official statement this morning.
Darby - who married his long-term partner, England international Steph Houghton this summer - was given the diagnosis last week by specialists and has asked for privacy as he comes to terms with the non-curable condition.
“It is with great sadness that I announce my immediate retirement from professional football due to a recent diagnosis of Motor Neurone Disease," he said.

“I would like to take the opportunity to thank my teammates, Phil Parkinson and all the staff at Bolton Wanderers Football Club for their amazing support at what has been an extremely difficult period for myself and my family.
“I would like to ask for privacy at this time so I can adjust to the battle I have ahead and so that I can spend time with those closest to me.”

Darby arrived at Bolton in the summer of 2017, linking up once again with Phil Parkinson, who had made him his club captain at Bradford City. In total, Darby made 236 appearances in West Yorkshire before moving to back to the North West, where he had graduated through the ranks of Liverpool as a youngster.

In 2008 the right-back made his first competitive appearance for the Reds as a substitute in a Champions League fixture against PSV Eindhoven.
The following year he made his first competitive start, again in the Champions League, against Fiorentina. Following loan spells with Swindon Town, Notts County and Rochdale, Darby made the move to Valley Parade where he wore the captain’s armband for two years.

Parkinson brought him to Wanderers to utilise his leadership qualities in a squad which was looking to secure its Championship status against the odds.
“This is heart breaking news for Stephen and his family and the thoughts of everybody at Bolton Wanderers Football Club are very much with him and Steph,” the manager said. “He is an outstanding professional and a fantastic person.

“He was simply magnificent during his time at Bradford and was a key figure in the resurgence of Bradford City as a football club.
“He typified everything the city and the football club represented and led by example on and off the pitch.
“The Bolton Wanderers fans didn’t see the best of him due to limited first team opportunities, but I can assure everyone that he made a significant contribution in last year’s survival.
“He constantly set high standards in training every day and encouraged and drove his fellow teammates on.
“All the staff and players at Bolton Wanderers Football Club think the world of him and are determined to give him every possible bit of support.”

Bolton Wanderers chairman Ken Anderson added: “We were all saddened when we found out that Stephen has to retire from the profession he loves.
“Stephen is very well thought of by everybody at Bolton Wanderers and he will always be welcome at the University of Bolton Stadium.
“Our thoughts are with him and his family and friends during this difficult time.”

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6 Re: Stephen Darby retires from football on Tue Sep 18 2018, 12:16

boltonbonce

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
Terrible news. A devastating diagnosis for anyone. My heartfelt good wishes go out to Stephen and his family.

7 Re: Stephen Darby retires from football on Tue Sep 18 2018, 12:50

wanderlust

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
Poor chap - a terrible disease. Best wishes.

8 Re: Stephen Darby retires from football on Tue Sep 18 2018, 13:18

Natasha Whittam

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
Poor bloke. I wish him and his family all the best for the future.

9 Re: Stephen Darby retires from football on Tue Sep 18 2018, 14:35

wessy

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Andy Walker
Andy Walker
Makes football seem insignificant . So sad to hear

10 Re: Stephen Darby retires from football on Tue Sep 18 2018, 14:36

karlypants

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
He’s just 29 years of age as well.

This disease normally hits people in their 60’s and 70’s from what I have read.

I wish him all the best!

11 Re: Stephen Darby retires from football on Tue Sep 18 2018, 15:12

Leeds_Trotter

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Andy Walker
Andy Walker
Now I feel bad for calling him terrible.

I wish him all the best.

12 Re: Stephen Darby retires from football on Wed Sep 19 2018, 12:35

karlypants

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

13 Re: Stephen Darby retires from football on Thu Sep 20 2018, 14:31

luckyPeterpiper

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Frank Worthington
Frank Worthington
So sad to read this news. Thoughts and prayers are with Stephen and his family. I wish there was more we could do other than to wish him luck and hope someone finds a cure soon.

14 Re: Stephen Darby retires from football on Thu Sep 20 2018, 14:49

wanderlust

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:So sad to read this news. Thoughts and prayers are with Stephen and his family. I wish there was more we could do other than to wish him luck and hope someone finds a cure soon.
It's especially harrowing given that he's only 29.

15 Re: Stephen Darby retires from football on Fri Sep 21 2018, 09:43

karlypants

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
Stephen Darby's wife Steph Houghton thanks supporters

The England international posted a message of appreciation on her Instagram account after news of Darby’s illness was made public earlier this week.

“Thank you everyone for your messages over the last few days. We can’t thank you enough for all your love and support. We are overwhelmed. We will keep fighting and most of all keep smiling!”

Darby was diagnosed with the incurable, life-limiting illness by specialists last Wednesday and made a public statement on Tuesday via Bolton Wanderers and the Professional Footballers’ Association.

The couple were married in June at a ceremony in Cheshire.

Darby had suffered the symptoms of Isaacs Syndrome, which affected the function of nerve fibres in his limbs and had been unable to train with the club over the last few weeks.

He had readied himself to retire from the game but was then given a heart-breaking diagnosis that he had developed MND.

Darby visited his team-mates on Tuesday morning at the training ground in Lostock to break the news personally.

After his statement was released in the press tributes poured in from all over the game and fans’ groups from both Bolton and his former club Bradford City have expressed an interest in staging a benefit game in the future.

Speaking on Wednesday night, Bolton manager Phil Parkinson said the players were also keen to support Darby in any way they could.

“The news obviously hit them very hard because Stephen is an incredibly popular member of the group but he will be given any support we can possibly give him,” he said.

“We want to keep him around in whatever way we can.”

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16 Re: Stephen Darby retires from football on Fri Sep 21 2018, 13:55

luckyPeterpiper

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Frank Worthington
Frank Worthington
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:So sad to read this news. Thoughts and prayers are with Stephen and his family. I wish there was more we could do other than to wish him luck and hope someone finds a cure soon.
It's especially harrowing given that he's only 29.
I agree. It's awful that such a young person should be hit with this.

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