London, Sep 18: Bolton Wanderers defender Stephen Darby, 29, announced his retirement from professional football on Tuesday after being diagnosed with motor neuron disease.
Darby started his career with Liverpool, and played six games with his hometown club after making his debut in the UEFA Champions League in 2008, reports Efe news.
It is with great sadness that I announce my immediate retirement from professional football due to a recent diagnosis of motor neuron disease, Darby said in a statement on the Bolton Wanderers website, which explained that a specialist had recently made the diagnosis.
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, he added.
After his spell with Liverpool ended in 2012, Darby moved between teams before landing at Bradford City, where he made 239 appearances over six years.
He joined the Bolton Wanderers in the 2017 summer transfer season, but according to British media had not played since December.
The United Kingdoms National Health Service describes motor neuron disease as an incurable, uncommon condition that affects the brain and nerves. It causes weakness that gets worse over time. It is always fatal and can significantly shorten life expectancy, but some people live with it for many years.