‘It Was Fate’ – Joe Thompson Scores Priceless Goal To Save Rochdale From Relegation On Final Day Of League One Season After Beating Cancer Twice

Chris Wright

6th, May 2018

Photo: @photosoffootball/Twitter

Of all the inspirational end-of-season tales to unfold this weekend, Joe Thompson’s was undoubtedly the most profound.

The Rochdale midfielder scored the goal that preserved his side’s League One, despite the club having begun the final day of the season inside the relegation zone.

With Charlton the visitors to Spotland, Thompson steered home the only goal of the game in the 69th-minute to leapfrog up and out of the bottom three by a single point come the end of play.

As well as heroically dragging Dale out of the mire, Thompson’s feat was made all the more remarkable given that he only returned to the first team scene after Christmas after going through his own personal hell, having been diagnosed with cancer twice in the space of five years.

Thompson was initially diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma in 2013 befoe being given the all-clear in 2014 after a six-month course of chemotherapy

However, he was then diagnosed with cancer again in early 2017, only to once again fight his way back to complete remission later that same year.

Talking to BBC Radio Manchester after the victory over Charlton, Thompson said:

You can say it’s written in the stars, fate, destiny and there’s been a lot of hard work I’ve had to do.

It’s all come down to today and it’s proven that it’s been worth it.

I never had it easy and it’s something that my mum has instilled in me. You make the best out of a bad situation and play the cards you’re dealt and you just make the best out of your hand.

It’s been a rollercoaster but today’s a massive high, a massive, big moment for my family and I’m sure we’ll celebrate and enjoy it.

Well played, that man.

Well played indeed.

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