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Footie hero dies

PUBLISHED: 15:36 08 April 2010 | UPDATED: 11:38 23 August 2010

MATES: Jimmy Bullard and Bruce Sewell.

MATES: Jimmy Bullard and Bruce Sewell.

TRIBUTES have been paid to a former Fleet captain who died following a five year battle against Motor Neurone Disease. Father-of-two Bruce Sewell, 40, played 56 times for Gravesend and Northfleet FC between 1998 and 2000 where his career ended when he su

TRIBUTES have been paid to a former Fleet captain who died following a five year battle against Motor Neurone Disease.

Father-of-two Bruce Sewell, 40, played 56 times for Gravesend and Northfleet FC between 1998 and 2000 where his career ended when he suffered a broken leg.

He captained the team alongside Hull midfielder Jimmy Bullard, who turned out for the Fleet before he joined West Ham in 1999.

After being diagnosed with the disease in 2005, Mr Sewell vowed to beat the odds that claim 50 per cent of sufferers in the first two years and another 45 per cent within five years.

His funeral is due to take place in east London today following his death on March 28.

The Ebbsfleet United matchday programme had an article on the former skipper two weeks ago for the Luton Town match. He became the 'Hatter's' first team Sports Therapist after his playing career ended and before his condition forced him to leave.

Just three days before his death he emailed the EUFC website saying he had updated his website www.road2hope.com which details his progress and fundraising events.

He wrote: "I always look at the Fleet's results and see how you are doing. Thanks for thinking of me and obviously, if Luton do not go up and you do not go down, please keep me in mind to raise funds for next season.

"It's coming up to five years since my diagnosis and although it's very difficult we now have two lovely boys that keep life fun."

Bruce and his wife Annabel founded the Road2Hope campaign to raise money and increase awareness of the incurable condition which causes the body to waste away without affecting the mind.

He is survived by his wife and two sons Noah, 6, and Henry, 3.

Donations will be used by his friends to buy a bench with a plaque at High Beach where he used to cycle his bike.

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