A former Kendal Town footballer who was diagnosed with motor neurone disease has sadly died aged 37.

George Melling, who played for the Mintcakes as well as Blackpool FC, Morecambe, Altrincham, Northwich Victoria, Leyland Town, Clitheroe FC, Colne FC and his home team Coppull, was diagnosed last January and sadly died earlier today.

Posting on social media, the club said: "Kendal Town FC are saddened to hear of the passing of former player and fans favourite George Melling.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with George's family at this very difficult time. 

"Kendal Town will hold a minute's applause at Saturday's game and also run a collection for his family.

"Rest in peace, George."

Last year, the player thanked the footballing community for the 'unbelievable' support he received since his MND diagnosis.

The 37-year-old said in an interview: "It’s a family, you know, people from the football community.

"That’s why people from the outside don’t understand – you all stick together.

"But it’s a family and the support has been unbelievable from all my clubs, fans, teammates, ex-teammates, opponents, it has been unbelievable.

A GoFundMe page set up last year to ‘Help Big G Fight MND – and help more memories to be made and fight for a cure – raised more than £12,300.

Father-of-three Melling had plans to get married to fiancee Nicci before his sad passing.

Recalling the moment when he noticed that something was not right, he said: "I woke up – I think it was February 2020 – and my left arm wasn’t right.

"I Googled it and instantly it came up saying ‘MND'.

"I’d played with Mark Maddox at Altrincham and he had it, so I kind of saw similarities.

"And then I saw Rob Burrow, Lenny Johnrose, Stephen Darby and the more you look into it, the more I thought ‘yeah it definitely is'."

The Westmorland Gazette: SUPPORTERS: (L/r) George Melling's children Jacob and Isabel, fiancée Nicci's son KaiserSUPPORTERS: (L/r) George Melling's children Jacob and Isabel, fiancée Nicci's son Kaiser

The profile of Motor Neurone Disease, also known as ALS and Lou Gehring's Disease, has been thrust into the national spotlight in recent years following the diagnosis of a number of notable sportspeople with the disease.

These include former footballer Stephen Darby - husband of England Women's captain Steph Houghton - and rugby players Doddie Weir and Rob Burrow, who have campaigned to improve awareness and raise money to fund research into the disease, which currently has no cure.