Bungay footballer vows not to let cancer beat him

A popular Bungay footballer is facing 2011 determined to celebrate his wedding in the spring and his 50th birthday in November – if his battle against a rare form of cancer allows.

With treatment over the past year proving unsuccessful, Garry Reed has been given only months to live, but he is being spurred on by the support of family and friends in his aims for the year.

At an emotional evening at the Bungay and District Sports Association clubhouse, he was among friends and relatives as they made a presentation to Bungay Town FC on his behalf to mark his contribution to the club and the former Ditchingham Rovers.

Afterwards the 49-year-old, who lives in Nethergate Street and works at the Two Sisters chicken factory at Flixton, spoke of his battle and his hopes.

'I am going through a rough time at the moment, but I will be fighting to the end,' he said.

He said he is focusing on getting married on May 21 to his long-term partner Anita Leggett, followed by his 50th birthday in November and then Christmas.

He paid tribute to his partner and to the relatives and friends who had supported him over the past year and helped him through the tough times.

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'Anita has been fantastic, and family and friends and the people at work have been first rate,' he said. 'Without them I would have given up, but they have been pushing me, coming to visit me, ringing me up. And I have had lots of visitors when I have been in hospital.'

Friends and relatives presented Bungay and District Sports Association with a new stretcher on his behalf after raising the money for it, and Mick Simpson, the club secretary and Ditchingham Rovers manager when Garry played for them, presented him with a football-shaped trophy in tribute to his dedication to the club.