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Former England footballer Kieron Dyer needs a liver transplant after undergoing tests in hospital.
The 42-year-old has been diagnosed with primary sclerosing cholangitis, according to his club Ipswich Town, where he has been working as the Under-23s manager.
Ipswich added that Dyer has been managing problems with his liver for the past couple of years, and now requires a transplant.
Dyer said in a statement released by the club: "Unfortunately, I was diagnosed with a condition of the liver a couple of years ago, that would lead to me one day needing a transplant.
"Over the next week, test results will confirm when I need to go through this procedure.
"I see myself as a very positive person that will overcome this minor setback.
"I'm very grateful to the club, the supporters and the general public for their messages of support over the past week.
"I would like to ask everyone now to respect my privacy, and my family's privacy."
According to the British Liver Trust: "Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis is an uncommon chronic liver disease in which the bile ducts inside and outside the liver progressively decrease in size due to inflammation and scarring (fibrosis).
"The disease may occur alone, but frequently is associated with inflammatory diseases of the colon, especially chronic ulcerative colitis."
It adds: "At present there is no known cure or specific treatment for PSC although preliminary trials have suggested that the natural bile acid, ursodeoxycholic acid, may slow the progression of the disease possibly by increasing bile flow and reducing liver inflammation.
"For a few people who eventually go on to get advanced cirrhosis, a liver transplant may be recommended when their quality of life has deteriorated and medical treatment can no longer control their symptoms. Because PSC usually develops slowly, transplantation can generally be carefully planned well ahead."
Dyer, who won 33 senior England caps between 1999 and 2007, started his career with Ipswich and spent eight years with Newcastle before signing for West Ham, where he played for four years. He was later at QPR and Middlesbrough.
He featured in this year's series of Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins, but was forced to leave the show after suffering a collapsed lung.
The footballer was in England's 2002 World Cup squad and has starred in the ITV series I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here.