Joe Thompson to retire following two battles with cancer


Rochdale midfielder Joe Thompson is set to retire following two battles with cancer.

The 29-year-old has made over 200 appearances for the League One outfit but admits he has “pushed his body to the absolute limit”.

Thompson returned from treatment for the second time in December 2017 and went on to score the goal that maintained Dale’s status in England’s third tier.

He was first diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma while at Tranmere Rovers in 2013 but was given the all clear in 2014. When Thompson was diagnosed with cancer again in March 2017, he was in complete remission and returned for the remainder of last season.

Speaking to BBC Sport, Thompson said:

“My decision to retire is one of the hardest I’ve ever made.

“I have battled through some of life’s hardest challenges and have managed to overcome them. However, I’ve pushed my body to the absolute limit.

“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.”

The midfielder is now set to embark on a journey into the media and as a motivational speaker.

“I believe I have a duty to mentor to younger professionals in the game.

“I also feel my story has the power to help others in all walks of life to overcome their own adversities and empower them to fulfil their potential.”


About Author

When not busy covering local news for EssexLive, Matt Lee can be found in the press box at Portman Road covering Ipswich Town's return to the Championship and push for the Premier League.

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