A retired professional footballer who has undergone chemotherapy has praised the top Ipswich centre who helped him through his cancer treatment.

Darren Oxbrow, who played for Town, Colchester United and Maidstone United, is urging others to check themselves after his own diagnosis.

Mr Oxbrow, 54, was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma in December 2022, after feeling rough and not himself while on holiday during the summer of 2022.

Ipswich Star: Darren Oxbrow (back centre) with Ipswich TownDarren Oxbrow (back centre) with Ipswich Town (Image: Darren Oxbrow)

He said: "I didn't improve when we got back from holiday, so I went to the doctors and got palmed off on the first occasion with the condition being put down to long Covid.

"Things didn't improve, I was losing weight, which was concerning, I was having night sweats, so they did some blood tests."

It wasn't until the third time Mr Oxbrow had visited the doctors that he was informed it was cancer.

Ipswich Star: Darren with his family. Wife Kate, and children Ellen, Will, Lucy and JemimaDarren with his family. Wife Kate, and children Ellen, Will, Lucy and Jemima (Image: Darren Oxbrow)

He said: "One of the hardest things was coming home and having that discussion with my four children, explaining why their dad's been feeling poorly and rough."

The former Town player, who now works for the Suffolk Youth Justice Service, underwent six months of chemotherapy between September 2023 and February this year.

The cancer is now in a dormant state.

He said: "It was really hard.

Ipswich Star: Darren playing for Maidstone UnitedDarren playing for Maidstone United (Image: Darren Oxbrow)

"I got through it with the support of my family, friends and the amazing individuals at Woolverstone Day Unit at Ipswich Hospital.

"It's a fantastic set up there, a really good facility with specialist equipment and support units.

"Because of the fantastic support I received there, I wanted to do something back for them."

Ipswich Star: Darren Oxbrow was diagnosed with cancer in December 2022Darren Oxbrow was diagnosed with cancer in December 2022 (Image: Darren Oxbrow)

Thanks to Mr Oxbrow's links to Ipswich Town, he has a signed shirt from this season's squad which is being auctioned off to raise money for the Woolverstone Day Unit.

He said: "One in two of us are going to be affected by cancer at some point in our life time.

"This is why I wanted to raise money for them, because you never know if you will need it.

"The money will go towards a top facility, on our doorsteps, making a huge difference to people."

Ipswich Star: Darren OxbrowDarren Oxbrow (Image: Newsquest)

Mr Oxbrow finished by urging others to check themselves should they not feel right.

He said: "If something changes with your personality or body, get checked.

"Pursue it if needed, don't ignore it because there are signs and it could be worse than you thought it was."