Everton legend and cancer survivor Alan Stubbs shows support for Drogheda's Gary O'Neill

Meanwhile, half the EA Sports Cup final prize money will be donated to the star.

Drogheda's Gary O'Neill was recently diagnosed with testicular cancer.
Drogheda's Gary O'Neill was recently diagnosed with testicular cancer.

EVERTON LEGEND ALAN Stubbs, who twice fought back from cancer during his football career, has shown his support for Drogheda United player Gary O’Neill.

O’Neill was recently diagnosed with testicular cancer after an episode of Soccer AM, which featured Stubbs speaking about his autobiography How Football Saved my Life, prompted the player to get a check-up.

“It’s great that he checked himself and that [the Soccer AM show] made him aware,” Stubbs told “I’m due to speak to him. So he’s going to give me a call — just to have a chat. Because he only noticed it from seeing me on Soccer AM.

“So fingers crossed everything will be a success.”

Stubbs was diagnosed with testicular cancer during his time with Celtic and after an initial recovery, suffered a relapse.

However, he ultimately recovered and went on to have a successful stint at Everton — the club for which he is now a coach.

Meanwhile, it was also announced today that Drogheda and Shamrock Rovers would donate half the prize money they receive for tomorrow’s EA Sports Cup final to O’Neill.

A statement released from Drogheda FC today read:

“Following agreement between Drogheda United and Shamrock Rovers half of the total prize fund from the final will be donated to Gary. The Football Association of Ireland will be adding a further €5000 so that Gary can embark upon the challenge ahead without any financial concerns for his wife and young family.  Drogheda United, Shamrock Rovers and the FAI are delighted to be able to assist and support Gary and his family in this small way. The Players Football Association of Ireland (PFAI) is currently also working on a range of fundraising initiatives and will announce details in due course.”

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O’Neill himself expressed his gratitude for the support he has been receiving, saying:

“I am both touched and sincerely appreciative of the incredible support that I have received and continue to receive since the news of my illness emerged last week. I thank above all everyone at my club Drogheda United for the wonderful medical assistance, the friendship and kindness shown to me and my family during this time. I also wish to thank the PFAI for their support. It was very emotional for me to see all the players in the league wearing t-shirts expressing their good wishes last weekend. My family and I are overwhelmed by the generous gesture of Drogheda United, Shamrock Rovers and John Delaney.

“When I was diagnosed and discovered that my work would be affected, one of my first thoughts was how I would support my family. I can’t put into words how much it means to us to have that major worry removed at a time when I need all my strength to fight this disease. Thank you to all those I have mentioned and to everyone who is supporting me.”

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Paul Fennessy

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