‘If I said I had cancer everyone would be like, oh my God’ – George Melling on lack of awareness around Motor Neurone Disease

George Melling Shirt
A football Shirt with some of his old clubs on it.

Former footballer, George Melling has opened up after his MND diagnosis, and says awareness is the most important thing.

George Melling is known by many in the Lancashire area, he played for many clubs, including: Nelson, Longridge Town , Lancaster City, Bamber Bridge, Northwich Victoria, Ashton United Altrincham, Clitheroe, Kendal Town, Leek Town , Colne and Coppull United.

And that’s not even all of his old clubs. To help raise awareness Melling has released a customised football shirt, with many of his old clubs featuring on the shirt.

The 36-year-old has also released some wrist bands and has a Go Fund Me Page set up, where has has raised over £7,000.

A percentage of that money is going to go to two of Melling’s chosen charities, the rest is going to help him, his fiancée and his kids make some great memories.

He said: “We’ve said that a percentage will go to the MND Association and to where I’m getting my treatment in Sheffield (The Sheffield Institute for Translational Neuroscience).

“And obviously I want to do things with my kids and make memories for them for the rest of there life.

“The wedding, we’re going to bring it forward, Covid-permitting we’ll have to wait and see.”

George with his fiancée Nicci. Photo by George Melling.

Motor neurone disease (MND) is an uncommon condition that affects the brain and nerves. It causes weakness that gets worse over time.

There’s no cure for MND, but there are treatments to help reduce the impact it has on a person’s daily life. Some people live with the condition for many years but eventually leads to death.

Melling says that awareness is as important if not more important than the money.

He said: “It’s all about awareness, people still don’t know what it is, its been around for 200 years and people don’t know.

“The only way I can describe it is by saying Rob Burrow and Stephen Hawking.

“If I turned around and said I had cancer everyone would be like ‘Oh my God.”

The former Nelson defender went on to commend the work of other well known people who have MND.

Rob Burrow interviewed by BBC Breakfast

He said: “Lenny Johnrose, Rob Burrow, Stephen Darby – the work they do to raise awareness is unbelievable.

“With MND, I don’t think they are far away from a cure, raising money and awareness will help go towards finding a cure.”

Even though there is no cure yet, scientists remains hopeful that there will be a breakthrough soon.

However, for now, people like George Melling need support in their fight with MND.