The ex-Red who twice overcame cancer
Joe Thompson's tale of beating cancer is heroic! See the ex-United & Rochdale man's interview on MUTV from 18:30 BST...
"It was Christmas Eve. The doctor said, 'You've had routine scans' which I was having as follow-up check-ups at the hospital and it was my last scan and he just noticed something different had popped up. And then he told me it was one tumour, of the same cancer, but it had come back and it was showing quite aggressive signs of spreading. Then there was a period inbetween when I played on and that was tough. 'We're going to wait and see. We don't want to hit you with a load of chemotherapy straightaway, there's going to be a wait and see' so I felt like a sitting duck. [That period lasted] four months in the end it was. I finished by playing away at MK Dons. The game just passed me by and I felt like I was in slow motion. They kept it all in-house, 'our business' to a certain degree but I'm going to keep playing on and try to get myself in the best physical condition for when the doctors do ring and say we need to start your treatment. "I think everybody did [felt the emotion]. I think everybody within football does know my story. I totally forget that the game was being televised and after 65 minutes I was [still] on the bench and I was a bit miffed off because I wanted to go out there and affect it. It was either us or Oldham that got relegated so I wanted to be in control of my destiny but also our destiny. So for me to live out that moment was my present to the lads and to the club for supporting me and sticking by me. It was kind of the ultimate survival story. I had survived cancer not once but twice. Football is a game and it's a game that everybody loves but I think the emotion that day obviously transmitted and everybody saw it on the TV, and for anybody that was in the ground, they understood what had been achieved. For me to just live it out was a proud moment for my family. All the sacrifice and the hard work I had put in had come to fruition. For me to live out that moment was clarity and peace in a way."