Former West Bromwich Albion striker John Hartson has been diagnosed with testicular cancer and has been told it has spread to his brain.
The 34-year-old former Wales international was taken into a Swansea hospital on Friday after complaining of severe headaches and underwent extensive tests over the weekend before being told he has cancer.
Hartson, who scored six goals in 24 appearances for the club between 2006 and 2008, is now set to undergo radiotherapy and chemotherapy treatment.
“Mr Hartson attended Singleton Hospital on Friday displaying symptoms consistent with testicular cancer,” Gianfilippo Bertelli, a consultant medical oncologist, said in the statement from the Swansea hospital.
“A number of clinical tests were put in place and these have confirmed the presence of testicular cancer. Unfortunately, it has also been confirmed that this cancer has spread to Mr Hartson’s brain.
“We will be commencing a course of radiotherapy and chemotherapy as soon as possible and foresee many months of treatment.”
Albion issued a club statement yesterday which said: “Everyone at the club is sad to hear about John’s illness.
“He was a popular figure during his time at The Hawthorns and is fondly remembered by everyone.
“John was always a fighter on the pitch throughout his career and the club would like to wish him all the best in his battle against cancer.”
After being released by Albion last year, Hartson announced his retirement after a 16-year career which began at Luton Town.
He had spells at Arsenal, West Ham United, Wimbledon and Coventry City before signing for Celtic for £6 million in 2001. He spent five years in Scotland before arriving at The Hawthorns for £500,000.