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Geoff Horsfield exclusive: Striker forced to retire due to testicular cancer


By David Anderson 9/10/2008

Geoff Horsfield


Geoff Horsfield


Geoff Horsfield last night revealed he has been forced to retire after being diagnosed with testicular cancer.


The former Fulham, Birmingham and West Brom striker was given the devastating news after discovering a lump in his left testicle and will have surgery next week.


Horsfield, 34, had hoped to earn a contract with Walsall after being released by Sheffield United in the summer, but is now determined to win the biggest battle of his life.


“I found a small lump in my left testicle and went to see the doctor at West Brom, who’s a good friend of mine,” he said.


“I was diagnosed last Friday and I’m going in for surgery next Thursday. The surgeon has told me that this is the end of my professional career, which is disappointing.


“But I’ve had 10 good years with Fulham, Birmingham, Wigan, West Brom and all the other clubs I’ve played for and enjoyed it.


“That’s at the back of my mind now. It’s just one of those things and I’ve come to terms with my career being over.


“All I’m thinking about now is beating this. I’ve always been a fighter right through my football career and I’m going to fight this and win.”


Horsfield has been told he has a good chance of making a full recovery because he acted so quickly.


“The specialist told me I did well to find the lump because it is so small,” he said. “He says I stand a good chance of making a full recovery because we’ve got in early.”




Geoff Horsfield was always fearless on the pitch but telling his family he had cancer was the most daunting thing he has ever done.


Horsfield's first thought when he was diagnosed with testicular cancer was how he would break the devastating news to his wife and three kids.


He spoke to his wife Tina and they sat down with Chris, 17, Chloe, 12, and Leah, eight, in their Staffordshire home and told them what had happened. The former Fulham, Birmingham, Wigan and West Brom striker knew they would fear the worst because some of their relatives had died from the disease.


Horsfield told them he didn't want to see any tears and that with their help, he would win the greatest fight of his life.


"The kids have seen some of the family die of cancer so when they heard the word cancer, they immediately thought 'is he going to die?" he said.


"It came as a huge shock to them and I had to sit them down and talk them through it, which was tough. I had to explain that the lump would be taken out and that I might have to have chemotherapy or radiotherapy.


"I tried to joke about it to soften the blow by saying I might need to wear a cap or a wig if my hair falls out.


"I tried to get across to them that I would get better. I'm a fit, relatively young man and I'm going to get through it.


"I told them I needed them to be positive and I didn't want to see any of them crying.


We're going to deal with this as a family as we have done with everything." Horsfield, who will forever be remembered for scoring the goal which helped keep West Brom up on the final day of the 2005 season, has received support from Millwall striker Neil Harris, who was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2001.


The Yorkshireman will have the lump in his left testicle removed by surgeons next Thursday and has been told his chances of making a full recovery are good.


Horsfield, 34, is determined to be upbeat and said: "No one wants to be told they have cancer, but if you've got to have it then testicular cancer is a good one to have because a lot of people have recovered from it.


"The specialist and the surgeon are positive too and once they remove the lump and do a biopsy, they will be able to tell me what treatment I'll need next.


"I've already spoken to Neil Harris and he was great, telling me what to expect, while Alan Stubbs also beat it. I've got my head round it now and I'm just focused on getting better.


"I'm determined to beat it.


I've been a fighter all my life and I'm going to fight this with everything I've got."


Horsfield had hoped to win a contract with Walsall and is sad there will be no more moments like helping Birmingham win promotion in 2002 or scoring for the Blues against Aston Villa.


However he claims being diagnosed with cancer puts any disappointment at seeing his career ended into perspective.


Best of luck to him.

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Proper footballer, remembering reading how in the summer, rather than laze about on the beach he'd get back with his old mates on the building sites and do some brick laying and hod carrying to keep up his fitness!


Wish him all the best with it.

Edited by RoytonBlueLad
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He's one of those strikers who I always wished played for Latics, and I wish him a full recovery. Family history research has revealed he's a distant relative of Mrs. Sideburns.

I'm sure he played for Langley Rangers not that many moons ago. They used to play in the n west 'champions of champions' against sides like Freehold and Bergmans from the (old!!) oldham sunday league. (heck i'm getting older!! :grin: )

Edited by futchers briefs
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I'm sure he played for Langley Rangers not that many moons ago. They used to play in the n west 'champions of champions' against sides like Freehold and Bergmans from the (old!!) oldham sunday league. (heck i'm getting older!! :grin: )


A mate of mine plays for them i remember reading about them in the football pink.

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Check those knackers chaps.... The point of all this publicity is that even big hard famous blokes don't need to be embarrassed about it and even if it is the worst, it can be sorted.


LL (with a fantastic pair of them that Lee Hughes would envy, but who had a scare about 10 years ago)

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