Everton academy coach and former Republic of Ireland international Kevin Sheedy has been diagnosed with bowel cancer, the Goodison Park club have confirmed on Wednesday.
The 52-year-old is expected to undergo surgery later this week and although he is set to be absent from football some time is adamant that he will make a return to his role at Finch Farm.
“It’s not ideal but I have to remain positive,” he told evertonfc.com. “After a period of rehabilitation I will return to my coaching role at Everton.
“There is a history in the family. It’s so important that people don’t ignore the early signs and symptoms and don’t be afraid to consult a GP.”
The midfielder, who was born in Wales but qualified for the Irish team through his father who was from Clare, made 369 appearances for Everton, scoring 97 goals and played 46 times for Ireland, scoring nine times including the country’s first ever goal in a World Cup against England in Italia 90.
He also played for Hereford, Newcastle, Liverpool and Blackpool during a 19-year playing career.
Everton have established an email address for supporters to send their messages to Kevin. They can mail Sheeds@evertonfc.com and all messages will be passed on to him.
Alan Smith has been writing for ExtraTime since 2008. He works as a full-time journalist based in Cork, working as a sub-editor for TCM and freelancing for a range of national titles. Follow him on twitter @alansmith90.