Footballer found he had cancer after Hibs match

Chris Anderson has been given the all-clear. Picture: Jane Barlow

Chris Anderson has been given the all-clear. Picture: Jane Barlow

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A SPARTANS footballer who discovered he had testicular cancer after being ordered to the doctor by a teammate has been given the all-clear eight months later.

Chris Anderson, who plays for Pilton-based Lowland League club Spartans, said he had been told to seek medical treatment after complaining of sickness following a friendly against Hibs in January.

The 26-year-old conceded he was lucky to be alive, having ignored warning signs that included aches and pains in his back and a small lump that had formed in one of his testicles.

Mr Anderson said he had first experienced an “uncomfortable” feeling around his groin area during last year’s festive period.

However, he only mentioned the symptoms to the team doctor and fellow player Jonny Seeley, who is also a doctor, following the friendly between the two Edinburgh clubs.

Mr Anderson said: “I felt aches and pains and also the lump, but being a guy I thought it would just go away. I was fit and, I thought, healthy, so I didn’t think too much about it all.”

The footballer added: “After the Hibs game I told them both I was not feeling well and I also mentioned the lump.

“They sent me straight away to get checked – I hate to think what would have happened if they hadn’t.” The initial tests on the former Dunfermline and Berwick Rangers striker were carried out in Edinburgh.

He was then given a priority appointment at Borders General Hospital, where a scan and further tests revealed the worst.

An operation to remove the cancerous lump was carried out in February.

Follow-up scans and subsequent checks in recent months have received the all-clear, but Mr Anderson said he was not taking anything for granted.

Testicular cancer leads to about 70 deaths a year in the UK. “I am told there is an 85 per cent chance that cancer won’t return and I can only hope it doesn’t,” Mr Anderson said.

“You need a bit of time to come to terms with what has happened, but football has given me a focus. I was back training in the gym a couple of months after the operation and I’m only now getting close to the match fitness I had before being diagnosed.

“There’s no getting away from it – I got a fright and it helps you put everything into perspective.”