We were deeply saddened this morning to learn of the passing of one of our very own – Tony Hopper – as he lost his battle against a very aggressive form of Motor Neurone Disease.
Tony, 42 and father to three young boys, passed away last night at the Eden Valley Hospice in Carlisle.
A statement released on behalf of the family this morning said: “Tony Hopper has lost his short fight against Motor Neurone Disease. He passed away surrounded by his family at Eden Valley Hospice on 9 October 2018.
Sue and the boys, Daniel (age 11), Adam (age 9) and Jack (age 5) would like to thank everyone who contributed to the Hoppy Memory Fund which enabled them to make many happy memories together.
The support from the whole community has been overwhelming since Tony’s diagnosis in January 2017.
Tony’s fightback fund for the MNDA has raised in excess of £46,000 which will be used to fund vital research and provide support for other MND sufferers in the local area.”
Chairman Andrew Jenkins said: “We were deeply saddened to hear that Tony had lost his battle against Motor Neurone Disease on Tuesday night. It is so sad to lose someone we know so well at such a young age, and our thoughts are with his wife Sue, his children, his family and his friends as they begin to try to come terms with this loss.
“I had the privilege of watching Tony grow up as a young man and as a footballer, and I know that the affection everyone has for him is genuine, as he was one of the nicest people you could ever hope to meet. His desire and passion for the game came from his father – John – who was a very strong centre forward, and who had a real eye for goal.
“I recall Dave Wilkes talking about Tony as someone who had a real focus, and both David McCreery and Mick Wadsworth held him in very high regard as, in fact, did Mervyn Day. We’re talking about people there who know the game inside out, and they all saw someone who could play a number of positions and who would quietly get on with whatever job he had to do in an efficient and professional manner.
“I’m sure everyone will join us for a minute of applause in memory of this fantastic young man ahead of kick off at the weekend.”
United’s match day publication will be dedicated to Tony this weekend, with a feature interview with Tony which covers his career in football, including memories of his time with the Blues and the Reds.
Rest in peace, Tony, you will be missed.
To donate to Tony's fightback fund for the Motor Neurone Disease Association, visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Tony-Hopper