Geoff Horsfield - My Biggest Battle
My biggest battle - by former Baggies player Geoff Horsfield
Geoff's over the shock - now the fight against testicular cancer begins.
by Ian Clarkson - givemefootball.com
The news that 34-year-old Geoff Horsfield was hanging up his boots after being diagnosed with testicular cancer was devastating but the son of a Yorkshire miner is known for his grit. 'I've got over the shock and I'm gonna beat the sucker!'
Anyone who knows Horsfield will vouch that he is one of the nice guys and despite the fact his world caved in last week, he is facing his challenge head on. For a striker who lived through the miners' strike in his youth and started his career in non-league football with Halifax Town, he has always had to battle against the odds.
'I am going to face whatever battles are ahead,' said Horsfield. 'The fact I have had to retire doesn't bother me one iota as all I was concerned about when I heard the news was my missus and kids. I was lucky enough to live the dream for ten years and play alongside people like Christophe Dugarry and under Kevin Keegan, so I have been lucky.
'I am not going to get embarrassed about the fact I have testicular cancer and I have no doubt that I will get some dressing room stick about it from people who are telling me 'I never had any b******.' I will just laugh it off as I am determined to beat this and carry on with my life.'
However, away from Horsfield's bullish approach to the fight, he admits he has been left in turmoil since being diagnosed with the news. He can draw solace from the fact that both Neil Harris and Alan Stubbs have beaten the disease and the former Wigan, Fulham and Sheffield United star admits he was always aware of the potential dangers.
'On the back of the toilet doors in the changing rooms, there is always a poster saying 'check your balls', which is an awareness campaign for testicular cancer,' continued Horsfield. 'I was lying in the bath about three weeks ago and felt something different in my testicles and spoke to Tina about it straight away. She said it might have been a cyst but to go and get it checked out by a doctor.
'I am still good friend with the doctor at West Bromwich Albion and once he had checked me over he sent me for an ultrasound scan at Little Aston Hospital. However, he told me that if it was on the outside then it was a cyst but if it was on the inside then it was likely to be cancerous. My mind was all over the place as I drove to the hospital and I kept thinking the worst but hoping that everything was going to be all right.
'I told the doctor beforehand that he had to be honest with me after checking me over as I just wanted to know. He told me he had never seen a cyst inside growing out so it was likely to be cancerous. It was a surreal moment and Tina started crying and that was when reality really hit me...'
READ MORE TOMORROW ON GEOFF'S PLANS FOR THE FUTURE AND THE SUPPORT HE HAS RECEIVED FROM FELLOW PROFESSIONALS.
Article republished with kind permission from www.givemefootball.com
Official website of the Professional Footballers' Association.