Lenny Johnrose: former Bury footballer dies five years after motor neurone diagnosis - who he was and what clubs he played for

Lenny played over 500 professional football matches during his career

Former footballer Lenny Johnrose, who played for Bury FC amongst a host of other Football League clubs, has died.

Lenny, who played as a defensive midfielder throughout his career, had two separate spells with the Greater Manchester club.

Following his retirement, Lenny became a teacher and in 2017 he was diagnosed with motor neurone disease.

Bury FC’s official Twitter account paid tribute to Len following the news of his death.

The post read: “We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Lenny Johnrose, aged 52.

His battle with Motor Neurone Disease led to the creation of @TrustLen, in which he dedicated his time to raising awareness on the subject.

“A hero on the pitch and an inspiration off it. RIP Lenny.”

Where was Lenny Johnrose born?

Lenny was born in Preston, Lancashire on 29 November 1969.

He was 52 years old when he died on Monday, 15 August.

Who did he play for?

In a career spanning 16 years and over 500 senior appearances, Len played for Burnley, Bury, Hartlepool United, Preston North End, and Swansea City

When did Len Johnrose play for Bury?

Len spent six years at Gigg Lane, the home of Bury FC. Signed by manager Stan Ternent in 1993, Len was a key part of what was a great time for the club that saw them reach the First Division (the present day Championship).

Lenny returned to Bury for a short spell in the 2002-03 season. In almost 200 appearances for the club, Lenny scored 20 goals.

What is the Len Johnrose Trust?

Since his diagnosis in 2017, Lenny worked with the Motor Neurone Disease Association to raise awareness of the disease and funds to help others who are diagnosed.

Two of Lenny’s close friends set up the Len Johnrose Trust to raise awareness of the disease and to make sure Len and his family could live life comfortably.

A spokesperson for the Trust posted on Twitter following the news.

They wrote: “We are heartbroken to tell you that our leader, Len Johnrose passed away this morning.

“Len was an incredibly proud husband and father.

“Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this very sad time.”

In July, a legends match took place at Gigg Lane and some of the proceeds were sent to the Trust to support the work they do.

What is Project 92?

In 2020, Lenny and the Motor Neurone Disease Association were given the red carpet treatment by Sky Sports which hosted the premiere of Project 92, a special collaboration aimed at raising funds and awareness.

Len’s travels around the 92 football league clubs giving talks about MND and encouraging donations to Project 92 from players, backroom staff and clubs were curtailed by the coronavirus. So he turned to film to capture his message.

A fundraising page is open and you can donate by visiting the Motor Neurone Disease Association’s GoFundMe page