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Former Sheffield United and Jamaica striker Luton Shelton dies at 35

Sheffield United have expressed their sadness after their former striker Luton Shelton died at the age of 35, following a battle with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).

The Jamaican was with the Blades from January 2007 to the summer of 2008, making four Premier League appearances towards the end of 2006-07 as the club were relegated, and then scoring four times in 21 outings the following season.

Sheffield United said in a statement on their official website on Friday: 'Sheffield United is saddened to hear reports in the Caribbean indicating the passing of our former striker, Luton Shelton, aged just 35.

Former Sheffield United striker Luton Shelton (right) has passed away at the age of 35 

Shelton scored four goals for the Blades, including a 'balloon-gate' strike v Manchester City 

'In recent years he has bravely battled Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) - a progressive neurodegenerative disease. The condolences of all at the Blades are with Luton's family at this difficult time.'

WHAT IS AMYTROPHIC LATERAL SCLEROSIS?

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a group of rare neurological diseases that mainly involve the nerve cells (neurons) responsible for controlling voluntary muscle movement.

Voluntary muscles produce movements like chewing, walking, and talking. 

The disease is progressive, meaning the symptoms get worse over time. 

Currently, there is no cure for ALS and no effective treatment to halt, or reverse, the progression of the disease.

For more information, please visit the NINDS wesbite here. 

Norwegian outfit Valerenga, another of Shelton's former clubs, said on Twitter: 'The sad news (of) Luton Shelton's untimely passing has reached us.

'He had ALS and was only 35 years old. Our thoughts go to his family and friends. Rest in peace Luton, in Valerenga you will never be forgotten.'

Shelton's former team-mate Paddy Kenny tweeted: 'Just heard the sad news that my former teammate Luton Shelton from our days @SheffieldUnited as (sic) died. 35 years old is way to (sic) young for a young man. Life is to (sic) short so appreciate everyday #RIP'

Current Blades captain Billy Sharp also tweeted: 'Another former teammate to be taken too soon. RIP Luton Shelton.'

The striker left Sheffield United in 2008 after a campaign in the Championship, before then switching to Valerenga; spells in Denmark, Turkey and Russia would later follow before Shelton headed home to Jamaica. 

Shelton, who was diagnosed with his illness in 2018, is Jamaica's record goalscorer, having netted 35 times in 75 internationals.

His goals for Sheffield United included netting in a 2-1 FA Cup win against Manchester City after the ball fell to him having deflected off a balloon. 

Shelton (seen second from right, mobbed by team-mates) is Jamaica's record goalscorer with an impressive 35 goals in 75 international appearances

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