Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Thompson Retires after Cancer Fight

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Thompson Retires after Cancer Fight

Article excerpt

JOE Thompson, who has twice beaten cancer to play for his boyhood hometown club Rochdale, has announced his retirement from the game.

Confirming his decision, he said he had 'battled through some of life's hardest challenges, and managed to overcome them.' .

For Rochdale fans, his dedication, skill and passion will never be forgotten.

And he will always be remembered for his fairy tale strike against Charlton Athletic at Spotland last May, which kept Rochdale in League One and sent rivals Oldham Athletic down to League Two - a goal he said 'meant the world to me'.

The club released a statement from Thompson confirming his retirement 'with a heavy heart.' .

In it the 29-year-old winger said retirement was 'one of the hardest I've ever had to make', but confirmed talks had been ongoing with specialists and consultants.

Rochdale's Number 15 said he had 'pushed his body to the absolute limit' and now wants to mentor young professionals in the game.

Thompson said: "My mind has grown stronger but with the intense treatment my body has had to endure over the last six years, it is no longer able to perform to the demands of the professional game.

"I owe it to my body and also to my family who have all seen me go through hell on more than one occasion. I would like to thank them dearly, particularly my wife, Chantelle, my mum, Michelle, brother Reuben and my amazing daughter Lula.

"You have all been my light in my darkest days.

"I would also like to take this opportunity to thank my team-mates, my manager Keith Hill and all the staff at Rochdale. You are truly an unbelievable group of people. Thank you for all the support and faith you have put in me over the years."

He said he would be working in the fields of motivational speaking, mentoring and the media.

"I am a firm believer that when one door closes another door opens," Thompson added. …

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