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cancer survivor stephen mcguinness wants regular checks for former players
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Cancer survivor Stephen McGuinness wants regular checks for former players

Former League of Ireland player Stephen McGuinness has revealed plans that would prevent other ex-professional footballers from going through the cancer battle that threatened his life. When PFA Ireland chief McGuinness was diagnosed with intestinal cancer, it had spread to his stomach. Luckily, he pulled through, after surgery to remove a tumour and part of his stomach, but only after his experience did he become aware of the importance of regular checks. Read More Bohemians’ Thin Lizzy jersey release is sure to be another big seller for League of Ireland side “Having gone through my own illness battles, we would love to have something where players will be checked after a certain period of time when they finish playing, and then are checked for a certain amount of years afterwards,” he said. “We are going to meet a number of companies to discuss it with them to potentially have a partnership in that. “As a professional player, when you finish, as I was, we feel we are a bit invincible. Nothing is ever going to happen to me. “Then I suddenly get diagnosed with cancer and I go, what happened there? “If I had gotten checks done after I finished playing every five years, I may well have been caught earlier and not gone through what I went through. “So there is a drive for me, as an individual who runs the union, to ensure that other people don’t go through what I went through.” He hopes the new Irish Professional Footballers Benevolent Association can provide the platform – and funding – for check-ups. “As males, I think we think, sure I’ll be grand,” he said. “In my case I passed blood one day and thought, the curry around the corner was brutal! “I should have had the checks in place, but even though I run the union there was nothing in place for me to go to. “We do have to look after players after they retire and if we have a system where every five or 10 years lads get checks, it’s that little piece of mind.” Get the latest sports headlines straight to your inbox by signing up for free email alerts.

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