Swindon Town fans raise money for former player's charity after Motor Neurone Disease diagnosis

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Swindon Town supporters have come together to help raise money for the Darby Rimmer Charity after their former player's Motor Neurone Disease diagnosis.

Former footballer Stephen Darby immediately retired from the sport after he was diagnosed with MND in 2018.

After that diagnosis he started the Darby Rimmer MND Foundation to try and support research in to a cure for the disease and to also raise awareness about the condition.

His foundation, that he started close friend and British Forces Veteran Chris Rimmer, has been hugely supported in recent years.

Stephen Darby has now been reunited with his match-worn shirt. Credit: PA Images

Now though a new fundraiser, started by supporters from his former club Swindon Town, has been highlight.

Darby spent part of the 2009/10 season on loan from Liverpool at the County Ground when he was in his early twenties.

He played an integral part in the team after his arrival but he is bets remembered for scoring the winning penalty in the club's shoot-out win over Charlton in the play-off semi-final, sending the Robins to Wembley in the process.

Swindon Town supporter Mark Hanrahan was there that night and recalled the moment he saw the youngster step up in the most important moment.

"I just remember the drama, the nerve-shredding drama of that match," he said.

"We were in front in the tie and then it started to turn and it felt as if we were not going to get the result.

"Then with the penalties I remember it so well, we were in the crowd and when you are there you don't know who is going to be stepping up.

"Four senior pros step up and then I remember when we saw Stephen walking to the spot. Everyone was looking at each other and was so surprised. He was just a baby but he stepped up and coolly slotted it.

"Then it was total bedlam, that night is remembered so well by Swindon fans and for many Stephen's name is right alongside it.

"I have never had the chance to thank him for that night but it was one of the best ever."

Mark, who is the founder of the Sir Tom Broadbent Lounge, a fan Twitter space for Swindon felt compelled to do something for Stephen after his diagnosis.

He started the fundraiser after he came in to possession of Darby's match-worn shirt from that game.

It has since raised over £1500 and he has also been able to return the shirt to the man who wore it back in 2010.

"I just knew that we had to get it and get it back to him," he said."I just thought that if we could get it back to him and just bring some sunshine to him after what he did on that night then it was worth it."