Former Town keeper in cancer scare

PUBLISHED: 12:55 13 October 2001 | UPDATED: 10:40 03 March 2010

MESSAGES of support and reassurance have been offered to former Ipswich Town favourite Craig Forrest today after he spoke of his anguish at waiting to learn if has beaten testicular cancer.

MESSAGES of support and reassurance have been offered to former Ipswich Town favourite Craig Forrest today after he spoke of his anguish at waiting to learn if has beaten testicular cancer.

The Canadian international goalkeeper, who now plays for West Ham, has undergone surgery to remove a lump and received treatment for suspected testicular cancer.

He is now due to have tests and a scan to find out if the disease has spread to other areas but is hopeful of making a full recovery.

Today Craig's former Ipswich team mate Jason Cundy, who now plays for Portsmouth, offered his words of reassurance having beaten testicular cancer himself.

"There will be quite a few things going through Craig's mind," he said. "However, he will take comfort in the fact that it is beatable as has been proven by myself and Neil Harris, who plays for Millwall. There is a 90 to 95 per cent success rate if it is caught in time.

"When you first hear the words tumour and cancer it's hard not to think the worst but Craig must remain positive. This is the most beatable cancer you can have."

Jason said that until Craig's test results come through there is no way of knowing the extent of his illness but that he must remain optimistic and get good advice.

Jason said: "He is going to need lots of support. And he needs to get the correct advice and get all the information he can. There are a lot of scare stories but he must remain positive.

"He must take the time to adjust and come to terms with it. I know how I felt before I knew it was cancer. To find out wasn't a relief but at least I knew where I was at.

"It was the waiting around that I found torturous. Once you know what it is you can start dealing with it.

"I'd like to pass on my best wishes to Craig and all the family," he added.

Ipswich Town Football Club also offered its support to the 34-year-old former goalkeeper who played for Town 263 times and was part of the 1991-92 side that won promotion to the Premiership.

Club Chairman David Sheepshanks said: "I'm very concerned to hear the news of his condition but hope very much that he receives positive results and good news from the tests next week.

"Craig was a very popular player at Ipswich Town for many years and I'm sure he can draw inspiration from the way in which Jason Cundy overcame a similar condition.

"On behalf of all of us at Ipswich Town, we wish him the very best and a speedy recovery."

Philip Houseley, chairman of Ipswich Town Supporters' Club, also added his words of support for Craig and said: "The supporters are going to be shocked by this because he was one of the most popular players at Portman Road. All the supporters will want to send their best wishes to Craig."

Craig has thanked his current team, West Ham, for their assistance and encouragement in helping him come to terms with the situation.

And he has spoken of his optimistic outlook and determination to overcome the disease.

Craig said: "I have got my fingers crossed and am hoping that everything is fine come next week. Nothing is 100 per cent and at times you think to yourself things aren't going to work out, but for the most part it is treatable, even if it has spread.

"But hopefully it hasn't and I don't have to go down that route because chemotherapy is tough - although I will be willing to do whatever the specialists want me to do.

"The staff and players have been absolutely top class, very supportive, and (manager) Glenn Roeder has been terrific," he added.

"If it wasn't for such a professional group, I probably wouldn't have been able to get it treated as quickly as I did and the efforts behind the scenes have made things easier for me."

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