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Motor Neurone Disease is an illness that has come into focus recently in the football world. Back in August, we learned that former Claret Lenny Johnrose had been diagnosed with this dreadful illness and more recently it has become known that Bolton’s Stephen Darby and Luton Shelton, who almost became a Burnley player back in 2005, are also suffering with the same illness.

Lenny’s former team mates at both Burnley and Swansea have teamed up and will play each other this Sunday in a charity match at Bamber Bridge and it really is a who’s who of his former team mates with captain Steve Davis leading the way with Stan Ternent on the touchline as he makes a one off return to management.

lenny johnrose gameTo say they are donning the claret and blue again for Lenny is an understatement, the response has been phenomenal from them and those able to go and watch will again be able to see the likes of Davis, Glen Little, Robbie Blake, Andy Cooke and Andy Payton lining up in the Burnley team.

The squad revealed last month also includes Brian Jensen, Dean West, Graham Alexander, Micky Mellon, Ian Cox, Mitchell Thomas, Paul Weller, Chris Brass, John Mullin, Gareth Taylor, Alan Moore, Tony Grant, Ronnie Jepson and Wigan boss Paul Cook.

The game is being played this Sunday, 11th November, at Bamber Bridge, kick off 1 p.m.. Admission, which includes a programme, is just £10 for Adults and £5 for Under-16s. If you can support this match then you will be supporting the Len Johnrose Trust and the MND Association.

It’s not just players, of course, who suffer from this appalling illness. Alan Beecroft, a very good friend of mine and a fellow Claret, was diagnosed earlier this year. Alan is known to so many Burnley fans having run the Colne Clarets coaches for years and in the last few days his son Simon has confirmed that he will be taking on the challenge of a sky dive in December along with Lenny Johnrose to raise funds for MNDA.

Simon’s initial hope was to raise £1,000 for the charity and he is well on the way to achieving that target and beyond. At the time of writing, £895 had been donated online and it would be wonderful if that could be taken past its initial target and way beyond.

It’s at times like this you find so many fantastic people. You only need to look at the names on this article, those former players who are going to come out and play for Lenny. Many of them have also given items for auction and I have to say I was touched with Andy Payton donating some of his late brother Dave’s old programmes.

Add to that those Burnley fans who have supported Simon. His dad thinks he’s mad for doing it but I know he’s also so very proud of him. I’ve also learned this week that Burnley Football Supporters’ Club, members of Burnley FC Supporters’ Groups, are sponsoring the game.

Please click HERE if you would like to sponsor Simon, and I also hope to see many Burnley fans at Bamber Bridge this Sunday while wishing the best to the Johnrose and Beecroft families and all the other families hit by MND.

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