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Ed Slater: 'Ultimately I can't win but I will fight... Hope is not lost'

By Ian Cameron
Ed Slater of Gloucester Rugby looks on during the Gallagher Premiership Rugby match between Bristol and Gloucester at Ashton Gate on May 17, 2021 (Photo by Harry Trump/Getty Images)

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Former Gloucester and England second row Ed Slater has said he will ‘fight with everything’ after it was revealed that he has diagnosed with Motor Neuron Disease (MND) at the age of 33.

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Gloucester revealed the devastating news yesterday and there has been an outpouring of sadness at the news, as well as good wishes for the popular father of three.

Now Slater has taken to social media for the first time since the news was revealed.

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“I want to say Thank You to everyone for all your messages of support and generosity,” said Slater. “It gives me and my family a huge amount of strength in a time of sadness for us. I will meet this challenge head on. Ultimately I can’t win but I will fight with everything. Hope is not lost.”

Slater also thanked Jill Douglas and the Doddie Weir’s My Name’5 Doddie MND charity for their support.

A JustGiving page has already raised £40,000 for Slater and his family.

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In a statement on Thursday, Gloucester said: “Gloucester Rugby is deeply pained to announce that Ed Slater has been diagnosed with motor neurone disease (MND).

“Following six months of testing, Ed’s diagnosis was confirmed last week, and as a result, with the support of his family, friends and Gloucester Rugby, he has made the difficult decision to retire from professional rugby with immediate effect.

“Everyone at Gloucester Rugby – players, management and staff – are entirely committed to supporting Ed, his wife Jo and his three children in whatever way required.

“We know the same will be true of Gloucester and Leicester fans, and the wider rugby community.

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“While Ed, his family and the club take time to determine next steps, Gloucester Rugby have opened a JustGiving page.

“The direction of these funds will be determined in due course, whether it be supporting Ed and his family directly and/or a selected MND charity.

“Neither the club nor the Slater family will be making any further comment at this time, and kindly request that those wishes be respected.”

Slater, who has featured in a number of England squads and represented England Saxons, joined Gloucester in 2017 following seven years with Leicester, where he served as club captain.

additional reporting PA

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