Written by Chineze Ogugua
Earlier today, it was revealed that Nigerian and Wolverhampton keeper, Carl Ikeme has been diagnosed with Leukaemia and will begin his chemotherapy with series of abdominal tests.
Goalkeepers have been sending in messages of solidarity to the Nigerian keeper with Barcelona keeper, Ter Stegen sending an emotional message to him.
Ter Stegen took to his official Facebook page to encourage people not to take their health for granted and wished Ikeme “all the strength in the world” in his recovery.
He wrote: “Today I read the story about Carl Ikeme, a goalkeeper for Nigeria and Wolverhampton, who’s been diagnosed with acute leukemia. A person I’ve never met but his story affects me and touches my heart.”
“I can’t underline how important health is. In sport, it means a lot for every athlete; and it’s not just crucial so that we perform well but our health does affect us mentally also. I try to be in the best possible shape, remembering to follow my diet and regularly check up on my health status. I think about this all time. I would never want to see a player get injured, especially when it’s serious. I know the feeling and it’s the worst.”
“But more alarming than an injury, is having to stop what you love because of your health. It’s complicated to understand and a painful reality to relax. And when the cause is cancer. I am speechless. I don’t know what to say.”
“I wish Carl and his family all the strength in the world. I’m sure his team-mates and club will be there too, and all their fans. It’s important to be united! And me too, I offer all my possible support. I’m hoping he can fight like goalkeepers always do, with a calm and positive mind.”
“I believe in you, Carl. Be strong. Be brave.”
Other goalkeepers including David De Gea, Iker Casillas, Luis Karius,Shay Given amongst others posted messages of solidarity to Carl with the hashtag #Keepstrong.