Footballers who have fought cancer to resume playing career

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NEWCASTLE’S Jonas Gutierrez is one of several footballers who have fought testicular cancer and thankfully gone on to resume their playing career.

The 31-year-old winger revealed in September that he was having treatment following the diagnosis of testicular cancer in his native Argentina but Gutierrez took to Twitter to announce that he has been given a medical discharge.

Celtic's John Hartson celebrates a goal. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo.

Celtic's John Hartson celebrates a goal. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo.

Gutierrez joined Newcastle from Real Mallorca in July 2008 and became a fans’ favourite when he played a starring role in helping the club win the Championship in his second season in the north-east.

The winger is the latest professional footballer to be diagnosed with testicular cancer.

Players who’ve returned after cancer to resume playing career:

1) Alan Stubbs:

Gutierrez is fouled during the 1-0 defeat to Arsenal. Picture by FRANK REID

Gutierrez is fouled during the 1-0 defeat to Arsenal. Picture by FRANK REID

The former Bolton Wanderers, Everton and Celtic defender beat cancer on two separate occasions.

After beating testicular cancer in his days as a Celtic player in 1999, a routine scan two years later showed a tumour in the base of his spine.

He fought back and went on to play more than 150 matches for Everton, Sunderland and Derby County.

2) Neil Harris:

The former Millwall striker was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2001. After receiving intensive treatment including surgery, the Millwall legend was given the all clear a year later.

He set up a cancer charity, the Neil Harris Everyman Appeal, following his own battle.

3) Matt Duke:

While playing for Hull City, Duke underwent an operation to remove a testicular tumour in 2008. The goalkeeper returned to the squad two months later and went on to play for Bradford City and Northampton Town.

4) Ex-Tottenham and Chelsea defender Jason Cundy was also successfully treated for testicular cancer and resumed playing.

In 1997, Cundy was diagnosed with testicular cancer, from which he later recovered and continued playing.

Former Arsenal, West Ham United and Celtic striker John Hartson also fought testicular cancer. In July 2009, after Hartson had retired, the former striker received chemotherapy after being diagnosed with testicular cancer which had spread to his brain. Thankfully, the treatment was successful.

* Information on testicular cancer.

It usually affects men between the ages of 15 and 49.

Health chiefs say it is relatively uncommon, accounting for one per cent of all cancers that occur in men.

It is one of the most treatable types of cancer. More than 96 per cent of men with early-stage testicular cancer will be completely cured.

For more information visit the NHS website click here

Twitter: @RichMennearJP