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Messages of support for ex-city star John Hartson who has cancer

PUBLISHED: 21:21 13 July 2009 | UPDATED: 10:47 06 July 2010

Norwich City fans have added their voice to the mass of support for a former City player following reports that he is fighting cancer.

Former Canary striker John Hartson has been diagnosed with testicular cancer which has now spread to his brain.

Norwich City fans have added their voice to the mass of support for a former City player after reports that he is fighting cancer.

Former Canary striker John Hartson has been diagnosed with testicular cancer which has now spread to his brain.

The 34-year-old was given the news this weekend after medical tests after he complained he was suffering from headaches.

Hartson retired from football in January after spending a month's loan with the Canaries last October, playing four games for the club.

Yesterday the Norwich City Independent Supporter's Association expressed their support and sympathy for the Welsh star.

Secretary Kathy Blake said: "On behalf of all Norwich City fans I'd like to wish him well, and wish him a speedy recovery.

"I am quite shocked by the news and I feel for him and his family. He is a young man still and it must be quite serious to spread to his brain.

"He wasn't at Norwich very long but he always had a good track record and has scored a lot of goals in his career."

Hartson is best known for the five years he spent at Celtic following a £6m signing by former Norwich manager Martin O'Neill in 2001. During his time at the club he scored 89 league goals and was voted Player of the Year.

Hartson received the news this weekend at the Singleton Hospital in Swansea, South Wales.

A statement issued by the hospital carried words of support to fans from his family and friends.

It said: "All the family, and John's friends, are doing all we can to support him and praying that he will make a full recovery.

"John is getting excellent care from the oncologists at the hospital as he begins his treatment.

"John is a family man and we appreciate all the messages of support we have already received."

A cancer specialist at the hospital where Hartson was diagnosed urged fans today to respect his privacy.

Dr Gianfilippo Bertelli, consultant medical oncologist at ABM University NHS Trust in Swansea, confirmed that the former striker attended the city's Singleton Hospital on Friday "displaying symptoms consistent with testicular cancer".

He added: "Unfortunately, it has also been confirmed that this cancer has spread to Mr Hartson's brain.

"We are awaiting the results of further tests to establish a full picture of Mr Hartson's diagnosis.

"We will be commencing a course of radiotherapy and chemotherapy as soon as possible and foresee many months of treatment.

"Mr Hartson will continue under the care of the specialist consultant oncologists as we aim for a positive outcome from this treatment.

"We realise that Mr Hartson is a much-loved figure and there are many fans and well-wishers who will be keen to hear news of his progress.

"However, while treatment is ongoing, we would ask that the privacy of Mr Hartson, and all the patients who attend our hospital, is respected.

"With his blessing, we will give further updates when appropriate."

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