Friends rally to help Telford football 'Boss' after motor neurone disease diagnosis

A fundraiser has been launched to help transform the home of a major character in Shropshire football who has lost the ability to walk after being diagnosed with motor neurone disease.

Brian 'Boss' Neville with Matthew Snow-Fall who is cycling to Snowdon and back and climbing up the mountain in the middle
Brian 'Boss' Neville with Matthew Snow-Fall who is cycling to Snowdon and back and climbing up the mountain in the middle

Brian 'Boss' Neville, from Trench in Telford, was diagnosed with the debilitating disease in June this year and needs his family home to be extended and altered to help him live in comfort.

Brian is a greatly experienced local football manager, and is still the chairman of Wrockwardine Wood FC, and is well known to anyone in football around Telford, even after his own playing career was cut short at 21.

In 2017 he was handed the award for Outstanding Contribution to Community Football for his 30-plus years of volunteering which included being a founder member of the Ironbridge Telford League.

Matthew Snow-Fall is now aiming to raise £10,000 to help make that happen and is planning a 180-mile cycle, with an ascent of Snowdon in the middle.

Matthew explained: "He was diagnosed in June this year, and already he can't walk. It is a progressive disease and we all know it will take his life.

"I grew up with the family, I went to school with his two sons.

Brian Neville with Graeme Le Saux when he was given the Outstanding Contribution to Community Football award

"From when I was about 10 to about 18, he was my football coach. He didn't like being called Mr Neville so we always called him Boss instead, and now people just know him as Boss."

Under Brian's stewardship as a manager and chairman, Wrockwardine Wood has gone from having just £70 in the bank to a well-respected and thriving local junior football club.

Matthew added: "When I heard about his diagnosis I was shocked and wanted to help. I've only recently bought a bike for travelling to work, so this is new for me."

On November 5, when the clock strikes midnight, Matthew will leave is home in St George's in Telford and make for Snowdon. He hopes to arrive there around 8am and hit the mountain, and complete the return journey on his bike too.

The target is £10,000 and a planned raffle is set to contribute half of the required money. A Just Giving page has been set up with more than £2,000 already donated.

There is no cure for motor neurone disease, a rare condition which affects the brain and nerves and gets worse over time.

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