Former Whitley Bay FC star opens up about life with MND

Former Whitley Bay fooballer Mark Taylor has written a book about his life. He was diagnosed with motor neurone disease (MND) in 2010 just months after Whitley Bay FC won the FA Vase. 
Picture by Jane Coltman

Former Whitley Bay fooballer Mark Taylor has written a book about his life. He was diagnosed with motor neurone disease (MND) in 2010 just months after Whitley Bay FC won the FA Vase. Picture by Jane Coltman

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A former footballer has opened up about life with a debilitating condition that has left him in a wheelchair and unable to eat or speak.

Mark Taylor was on top of the footballing world after helping home town club Whitley Bay FC lift the FA Vase in 2009.

But within months he had been diagnosed with motor neurone disease.

Now seven years on, he has written A Brief History of Mine, which looks at his whole life, going through school, pulling on the blue and white strip for Whitley Bay, to his diagnosis and battles he has faced.

Mark, of Monkseaton, said: “Initially I wrote the book as a Christmas present for my family and close friends but I got such an amazing response that I decided to do it properly and try to get it published.

“I added more content and built upon what I had already written.

“The book is about my whole life. It talks about growing up, my progress through local football to play for Whitley Bay and all the success I had with them. There are some really good stories that fans I hope will find interesting.

“I then go on to talk about my teaching career, some parts of my private life and my diagnosis and how I lived with MND.”

Mark, who has maintained his job at Kenton School in Newcastle, wrote the book in six weeks using his Eyegaze computer.

He initially had 200 books printed but they have sold out and a re-print ordered.

Mark said: “The reaction I have received has been incredible. The few people who have read it already have all laughed and cried in equal measure.

“It’s really nice to hear about their reactions and to start talking about memories that I have written about. I think and hope people who know me will really enjoy it but also anyone who has MND or their families.

“It talks about how I have lived with MND and all the challenges I have faced. Your life isn’t over when you get diagnosed.”

The autobiography – priced £9.99 – is available on eBay, Amazon, from the King George Pub and Seahorse pub in Whitley Bay.

Any shops interested in stocking the book should email Mark on Mark.Taylor@kenton.newcastle.sch.uk

Mark is donating 20 per cent of the profit to MND Association.

Mark, who was given just three years to live when first diagnosed, admits there have been some dark days but is now on top of things.

He said: “It is almost a year since I had my emergency tracheostomy and I think I have adapted well to it.

“I still work full time and see my friends and family regularly so I still enjoy my life as much as I can.

“My brother-in-law Gary Ormston plays for North Shields so I haven’t been to watch Whitley Bay but I am good friends with the management team at Whitley so will be going to watch when the weather improves.”