Fletcher previously suffered with ulcerative colitis
ALBION's squad gathered in the gym earlier this week to help skipper Darren Fletcher promote a charity that is especially close to his heart: Crohn’s & Colitis UK.
Darren’s career was interrupted when he suffered from ulcerative colitis, a condition that took a couple of years to fully resolve. As a result, he takes a keen interest in charities working in that field.
“It’s pretty well documented that I had a struggle with illness for a couple of years," said Fletcher.
“It was diagnosed as ulcerative colitis and we tried a number of different things to remedy it before, ultimately, we went down the surgical route. Thankfully, that worked for me and I’m back fit and playing Premier League football again.
“Crohn’s & Colitis UK are one of a number of charities working in that field and after my experiences, I think it’s important that I look to help them and other charities such as United For Colitis, which I’m involved in directly.
“Those charities mean a lot to me because I’ve been there and I know how devastating an illness it is, and it’s important that, having returned to playing, I show people who are suffering with it that there is light at the end of the tunnel.
“People write to me about it and they’ve told me that their children just being able to say, “I’ve got the same illness Darren Fletcher had”, has helped them to go to school, to get on with life, because they see that you can come through it.
“Small things like that mean a lot because it is an illness that not many know much about, so bringing awareness of it does help to prevent people suffering in silence. Raising money for research and shining a spotlight on the charities, that’s one of the privileges of being a Premier League footballer.
“You do get a high profile in this position, you do have a platform and it’s important to me to use it to help people.
“I speak to people with the illness regularly about their condition, maybe talk them through the surgical process, just giving them my story and hopefully inspiring them by showing them that things can get better."
You can read more from Darren on this subject, and plenty of others, in an exclusive in-depth interview with Albion’s captain in the Stoke City edition of Albion News on January 2nd.