Inspirational Liverpool FC fan who led fight against cruel disease dies aged 39


A lifelong LFC fan, ex-soldier and ‘tireless’ Motor Neurone Disease campaigner has died after a brave battle with the disease.

Chris Rimmer, 39, who co-founded the Darby Rimmer MND foundation with friend and former Liverpool FC defender Stephen Darby, died on Monday after being diagnosed with the disease in 2015. Chris, who has been called an ‘inspiration’, leaves behind a legacy of ‘tireless’ and ‘passionate’ campaigning for awareness of the disease that will be continued by the foundation he left behind.

The Darby Rimmer MND foundation, set up by Chris and Stephen, both MND sufferers, released a statement on Twitter this morning. They said: “It is with deep, deep sadness we bring you the devastating news that on Monday 18th April, our Co-Founder @chrisrimmerMND sadly passed away after a brave battle with motor neurone disease.

READMORE:Mum in ‘constant pain’ as she’s diagnosed with the same disease as her husband

“Everyone at @DarbyRimmerMND is truly heartbroken. Chris was a fighter and a special man.

“He was and is an inspiration for so many. He was passionate about trying to help others affected by MND and we will now do everything we can to continue his amazing work.

“Our love, thoughts and prayers go out to Chris’ family at this difficult time. Rest in Peace Chris”

Beneath the announcement people paid their respects and remembered Chris.

Chris James (@ChrisJamesMND), another MND campaigner and director of external affairs at the Motor Neurone Disease Association commented: “I am so sorry to hear this. My thoughts are with his family, Stephen & everyone at the Foundation.

“His work with Stephen in establishing the Foundation has made a huge difference to the lives of people with MND & their families”

Jamie Carragher (@Carra23), ex-Liverpool defender, commented two red heart emojis in response to the news.

Ryan Turnbull (@HeyrattyRyan) said: “So sad. Rest in Peace Chris. Despite his illness he always seemed to have a twinkle in his eye. A very special man who I have no doubt will be sorely missed.”

Craig Lindfield (@CraigLinny7) said: “Absolutely devastating news. Thinking of all Chris’ family & friends at this terribly difficult time. Chris was & always will be a true inspiration to me & so many others. The foundation he & Darbs set up , you have already helped & will continue to help so many families. RIP Chris.”

Jen O’Neill(@Shekicksdotnet) said: “So sorry to hear this. What a guy, what a life grabbed and lived to the full and what a legacy he has left. Love to all affected by this sad news.”



Chris Rimmer, 39, from Aintree, before his MND diagnosis

Motor Neurone Disease affects people differently and can significantly shorten life expectancy. The rare condition targets the brain and nervous system.

Speaking to the ECHO previously, Chris said he had a year of symptoms before finally having them checked out in 2015.

He said: “I was first aware something wasn’t right in early 2014 while serving in Afghanistan. I noticed twitching in my arms and certain exercises I’d done for years started to feel harder. I didn’t think it was anything serious so I just cracked on as normal.

“It was in early 2015 when I noticed my fingers began to feel weak. I was starting to struggle tying my shoelaces and doing my buttons. It was then I realized I might have something more serious wrong.”

“When the neurologist confirmed the diagnosis, I felt numb and my head was gone. I was alone in Dubai, so that made it even worse.

“I went straight to the hotel bar and started downing the pints and I remember thinking: ‘Will I see Liverpool win the league?'”

Chris, who brought his first season ticket when he was 9, would live to see the Reds lift the Premier League in 2020, and the fear he felt at first was turned into his tireless passion for campaigning for MND.

He said in 2020, after Liverpool’s league success: “When we finally won the league after all the uncertainty of COVID-19 I was probably relieved at first. Then it began to sink in over the next few days and I was buzzing.”




www.liverpoolecho.co.uk

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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