Stephen Darby Returns to Valley Parade
Former Liverpool, Bradford City and Bolton Wanderers defender Stephen Darby spoke for the first time since he was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease, explaining that he has established a foundation in his name. Darby was guest of honour at Valley Parade to watch Bradford City beat Sky Bet League One strugglers Oxford United 2-0.
At the beginning of November Bradford City announced plans to host a testimonial fixture in Stephen Darby’s honour in early 2019, which was a fitting tribute to the full-back who made 239 appearances for the club over a five year spell.
He announced his diagnosis in September just three months after marrying England and Manchester City Women captain Steph Houghton. Houghton dedicated her 100th cap to Darby when she became the 11th female England centurion at the start of this month.
Speaking on the pitch today Stephen Darby said, “We’re just in the process now of setting a foundation up now. I’m doing a joint one with a lad called Chris Rimmer, who become a close friend of mine over the last two or three months. He was diagnosed with MND four years ago and since my diagnosis he has been an incredible support for me.
We have decided to do a joint foundation together and obviously hopefully we’ll get the game set up and then anything we raise will go towards that. In terms of my health it’s good, obviously it’s been a crazy two or three months but it’s settled down now. I’m lucky to have an amazing wife, an amazing family and some great friends and the supporters.
I had some great times and fantastic memories, it was a real honour and a real pleasure to put that Bradford City shirt on. It’s nice to be back here again today, we had so many great times. I know I’m not on social media or anything so I don’t really get to thank everyone that much, so this is my time to say a big thank you to everyone.”