The news obviously rocked Taylor, as a fit and healthy young sportsman at one of the biggest clubs in the world, and, although he remained defiant, it was a dreadful blow to receive.
“We all broke down when we first got told, my mum, my stepdad and I,” he revealed. “Because, obviously, I’m 18 and playing. I’m in a bubble, you don’t think that any other news concerning anything other than football would come, especially something that you know is life threatening. When you hear the word, it’s almost like ‘how is that possible?’ You start thinking of the worst. Instantly, you just think worst-case scenario, which to anyone when they hear the word ‘cancer’ is ‘will you live?’”
Late October last year, a scan revealed the problem had spread to the lymph nodes in his abdomen. Another operation was required and the period of chemotherapy was understandably incredibly tough for Max.
“The cancer cells had been wiped out,” he recalled. “But there was dead tissue that had swollen. The chemotherapy had got rid of the cancer cells but it hadn’t gone back to the size of a normal lymph node so, just to remove any risk of it recurring, I had to get it taken out. So it was a cut straight through and then an opening near where the kidneys are. That’s where the three lymph nodes were. One had attached itself to the aorta so it was quite a risky operation.”