Latest News

Joe Thompson Helping Future Generations Through Cancer Battle

Joe Thompson Helping Future Generations Through Cancer Battle

“I never wanted to be known as a great or a good footballer. That was always a part of my life. But if you ask me, do I want to be known as a great man? Now we are talking.”

These are the words of Joe Thompson, former LFE apprentice and professional footballer, as he announces that he has been diagnosed with cancer for a third time.

Since retiring in 2019, he has been working tirelessly travelling up and down the country providing motivational workshops on resilience to academy players as part of LFE’s Life Skills Programme. Yesterday he spent time with MUTV, BBC and Sky Sports to share the early experience of his next chapter and his mindset to face what is ahead.

“My family are imperative in my life and they are constantly helping me at the moment. I feel like once I have voiced it and got it off my chest, I don’t feel as suffocated as I felt. Obviously, bringing it to the football audience I am hoping that the support will be there as it has been not once, but twice before.”

Joe was first diagnosed with cancer in November 2013, when he was playing for Tranmere Rovers. Having beaten the disease for the first time, his cancer returned in March 2017.

Two months later, Joe got the all clear and has long advocated for raising awareness and the importance of regularly checking yourself.

“I don’t think you could walk this road alone. There are constant reminders and from the support you get, there are positive stories, so I feel morally obliged to be one of those that do that.”

“Raising awareness is key. We know that cancer is on the rise across the world, but for me this time, because it is the third time, I really want to find the root cause of why.”

“I have always said that having those checks and doing them yourself, having a feel around, is important.”

“But I was just in the bath with the baby, and I literally came down with the water and noticed a little lump in the lymph node in my neck. First-time round I noticed quite a large mass in the same area but on the left-hand side.”

“Second time round I was totally caught off-guard. I was playing football, flying, feeling fit and it popped up on a scan and it was a tumour next to my heart.”

“But this one has gotten progressively worse and it’s got onto my lungs so my breathing is affected, my sleep is affected. My speech. But it has gotten better over the last three or four weeks. I couldn’t have done this interview with you three or four weeks ago. Lots of coughing, lots of short breaths and I would get out of breath talking.”

When talking about his family, Joe said: “They are everything.”

“They are why I wake up. Going through what I have been through, I know how important they are, and I also know how tough it is for those guys.”

“I often say the one that is there next to you is probably the one that is suffering the most because they are seeing you. They are witnessing you go through certain things.”

“We always say we are not unbreakable, but we are healable, so we just keep doing our best. There are a few arguments from time to time because everyone is frustrated and feeling it but it wouldn’t be a family if that wasn’t the case.”

Joe sees professional football as only a part of his identity, prioritising being a good man over everything else.

“If I can find a root cause then, wow, that becomes a real legacy piece for me.”

“I never wanted to be known as a great or a good footballer. That was always a part of my life. But if you ask me, do I want to be known as a great man? Now we are talking.”

“It’s about finding a test that is accurate enough for the root cause and I am like the guinea pig. If we get it right with me, it will get rolled out to more and it will be developed and there will be trials. If we get that, we have really opened up a huge key for not only me, but more importantly, people all around the world.”

“I am always looking at the next generation, so it’s huge and it is going to mean that we need to raise some funds. If we get that sorted and nailed, we are on to something huge.”

Everyone at LFE sends love and support to the Thompsons, we are all with you.

To learn more about Joe’s story, and to donate, visit his Go Fund Me Page: https://www.gofundme.com/f/Team-Thompson-against-cancer-again.

Credit: MUTV

Other General News

Stanley Trust Learners Visit Italy

Stanley Trust Learners Visit Italy

A number of students from the Accrington Stanley Community Trust recently flew out to southern Italy for a work experience..

General News Study Programme
Young Rams Defender Turns Pro

Young Rams Defender Turns Pro

Keilen Robinson, who has just finished his two-year LFE Apprenticeship Programme, today signed his first professional contract with Derby County,..

General News
Stacey Signs Pro Dons Deal

Stacey Signs Pro Dons Deal

MK Dons shot-stopper Seb Stacey has signed his first professional contract with MK Dons. Stacey, who was included in the..

General News