Ed Slater: Gloucester lock diagnosed with motor neurone disease

Posted: 23rd July 2022

Gloucester lock Ed Slater has been diagnosed with motor neurone disease (MND) and has retired from rugby union with immediate effect.

Slater, 33, was diagnosed last week following six months of testing.

He made three appearances for Gloucester in the Premiership last season, the most recent in January.

A statement from the club said they were “entirely committed to supporting Ed, his wife Jo and his three children in whatever way required”.

Slater joined the Cherry and Whites in 2017 from Leicester Tigers and had made 78 appearances for the club in the Premiership.

He spent seven years previously with the Tigers, where he won the Premiership title in 2012-13, playing 136 times as well as captaining the side over two seasons.

The forward began his career playing with Eastern Suburbs in Australia and also spent a year with Nottingham in the English Championship.

Slater was called up to the England Saxons squad in 2012, skippering them to victory over the Crusaders in New Zealand in 2014.

MND is a degenerative condition that affects nerves in the brain and spinal cord.

Former rugby league player Rob Burrow, Scotland rugby union lock Doddie Weir and ex-Liverpool right-back Stephen Darby have all been diagnosed with MND in recent years and have been actively campaigning to raise awareness of the disease.

Gloucester thanked Weir’s charity for support they have already provided.

His My Name’5 Doddie Foundation, a reference to his number five shirt number, said it recognised there was increased attention regarding head injuries and potential neurological disease, but that there was “currently not enough definitive research” to draw conclusions regarding any links with MND.

A fundraising page has been set up for Slater, with any money raised to go towards supporting Slater and his family and/or to a selected MND charity.

Leeds Rhinos scrum-half Burrow was diagnosed in 2019 following his retirement, and was awarded an MBE in April for his services to the sport and the MND community.

While his former team-mate and friend, Kevin Sinfield, was awarded an OBE after raising several million pounds for research in the condition, by completing a series of long-distance runs.

A number of Premiership clubs have given their best wishes to Slater including his former club Leicester, who sent their “heartfelt support”.

Source: BBC.co.uk

Categories: Uncategorised