Joe Thompson returns to football after beating cancer again

Rochdale midfielder Joe Thompson returned to football on Saturday after defeating cancer for a second time.

The 28-year-old made his first appearance since March in Dale’s 1-1 draw with Walsall, coming off the bench in the 72nd minute, after winning his battle with nodular sclerosis Hodgkin lymphoma.

Thompson tweeted: “I don’t make promises I can’t keep. Unbelievable feeling be back out there. Thanks to everyone for the support through it all!

“Thank you to everyone at @officiallydale for ovation it brought a tear and smile to my face …. Christmas made special for me and my family #grateful.”

Rochdale manager Keith Hill said: “Joe deserved his place on the bench for the way he has been performing on the training pitch.

“It’s small steps for him. We don’t know how significant his return was – I’ll tell you in 10 years because it’s about Joe’s life, not his football.”

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