October 4, 2022

Ex-Preston & Burnley midfielder Johnrose dies aged 52

Len Johnrose speaks with the aid of a voice bank using recordings of his voice made after he was diagnosed with motor neurone disease in 2017
Len Johnrose spoke with the aid of a voice bank using recordings of his voice made after he was diagnosed with motor neurone disease in 2017

Former Blackburn, Preston and Burnley midfielder Len Johnrose has died aged 52, just over five years after he was diagnosed with motor neurone disease.

Johnrose played 502 career games, including spells at Hartlepool and Swansea, with more than 200 of those across two terms with Bury.

He had been living with MND since 2017, a disease that affects the brain and nerves for which there is no cure.

His hometown club Preston tweeted their “sadness” at the news of his passing.

Burnley also added a tribute, saying: “You’ll always be a Claret,” while Blackburn also paid their respects following the news.

Following his diagnosis, the Len Johnrose Trust was set up in order to raise funds and awareness of the disease.

Johnrose, who retired from playing in 2004, banked recordings of his voice when his symptoms progressed, and had started speaking via technology that used those recordings.

Speaking to BBC Radio Lancashire in July, Johnrose had said that he was “aware that he could die at any time”.

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