Lenny Johnrose, the one-time Hartlepool United striker, is diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease.
Signed by Blackburn Rovers for £ 50,000 in 1992 by Alan Murray, the 48-year-old, revealed in an interview with BBC Radio Lancashire, he suffers from the debilitating disease.
He made 66 appearances for Polish, scored 11 times and later played for Bury, Burnley and Swansea.
Johnrose, now a school teacher in Blackburn, revealed: "I had several symptoms, it appeared after tests and tests that I have Motor Neurone Disease.
"In the beginning it was strange, I felt I knew it for a few months, I thought I had nerve problems because of a break that did not heal, but I felt a weakness in my other hand and they brought me back for more tests and I had an uncomfortable feeling – looking at Google and things you should not do.
"I told my wife and laughed at first, but when we went back we asked plainly and they told us not to worry and we would see it, that was August, September last year and it was another six months in which everything progressed. # 39; & # 39;
Doddie Wier, the former Scotland and Newcastle Falcons ahead, helped raise the MND profile through his charitable work after diagnosis. Paul Mullen, the ex-Polish press officer, fought the disease for a number of years.
Johnrose added: "I actually knew, every minute, every day, it was in my mind." It was not the world's biggest surprise when we found out.
"We started planning right away – it would be okay and two weeks later I could not move my fingers, there is a MND team in Preston that is very helpful, helping you to make life easier.
"It's horrifying to say, but 50 percent dies within two years over the lifetime, there's no long-term goal, but there are examples of people living outside of it, I do not want to go through that life forever, but you've got things needed – wills, funeral packages and I'm pretty pragmatic about it, but there are a lot of down-days. & # 39; & # 39;