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The Bristol Rovers Former Players Association has donated £500 to the National Brain Appeal Aphasia Service in memory of club legend Junior Agogo.

Agogo died in August this year aged just 40 after suffering stroke at the age of 36 which left him with speech and language difficulties.

He made 140 appearances for Rovers between 2003 and 2006, scoring 40 goals and was a huge fan favourite at the Mem.

Aphasia is an acquired communication disorder most commonly caused by stroke and It is estimated that there are more than 350,000 people living with aphasia in the UK yet many people have never heard of it.

It can affect people differently, depending on where in their brain has been damaged but most people report speaking, listening, reading and writing are challenging.

Prior to his demise, Agogo spoke to the BBC about his struggles with his speech in 2017.

“I was running with my dog. I was coming back home. I was near the Marriott Hotel and the stroke happened.

“When I woke up I was in hospital with my mum. I couldn’t speak. I was in a bad way.

“I had thoughts, but I was like where is my voice. I was baffled man”, the late Ghana star said.

The National Brain Appeal is fundraising for a new high dose of 100 hours of therapy for patients with aphasia.

The charity is raising £600,000 to fund the two-year programme, thought to be the first of its kind in the UK.

Currently in the UK patients receive, on average, twelve hours of speech and language therapy.

Agogo also told the National Brain Appeal in 2018: “Since my stroke I have had difficulties with language. Even though I know what words I want to say I’m anxious about getting the words wrong.

“I just want to speak like I did before the stroke, that’s all. The high-dose aphasia therapy service would hugely benefit people like me to overcome these problems.”

It is in line with this that the Bristol Rovers Former players Association made a donation to the National Brain Appeal in memory of Junior Agogo.

After the donation, Keith Brookman from the BRFPA said: “Junior’s death has touched everyone at the club where he was such a popular figure. We at the Bristol Rovers Former Players Association wanted to find a way to honour his memory.

“We know how much he struggled with aphasia following his stroke. One of the biggest challenges he faced was his ability to communicate clearly, thus leaving him isolated from friends and former team mates.

“He bravely spoke out about this in the BBC documentary Speechless. In recent years Junior gave his support to The National Brain Appeal’s Aphasia Service to help people like him and we felt that donating to this would be a fitting way to remember him.”

Alexis Gebbie, Senior Fundraising Officer at The National Brain Appeal, said: “We are very grateful for the support of the Bristol Rovers Former Players’ Association and their generous donation to The National Brain Appeal Aphasia Service in memory of Junior Agogo.”

©ghanaguardian

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