Former Norwich City academy director Sammy Morgan backs boost for Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital cancer department
- Credit: Eastern Counties Newspapers
A former international footballer and Norwich City Academy director has thrown his support behind a cancer fund at one of the region's hospitals.
Sammy Morgan, 70, began his footballing career in Norfolk with Gorleston FC before playing professionally with Port Vale, Aston Villa, Brighton and Cambridge. He was also academy director of Ipswich Town FC and spent two years in Holland playing for Sparta Rotterdam and Groningen FC.
But in 2014, Mr Morgan was diagnosed with stomach cancer. Now Norfolk and Suffolk Youth Football League has chosen the oesophago-gastric cancer department at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) as its charity of the year - a move backed by Mr Morgan.
The oesophago-gastric cancer fund, which is part of the hospital charity, is close to Mr Morgan's heart. He said: 'I underwent chemotherapy for six months and a full gastrectomy in January 2015 and was under the care of consultants Edward Cheong and Bhaskar Kumar.
'Because of the wonderful care, compassion and expertise of the dedicated staff at the NNUH, I am trying to give something back in return.'
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He added: 'I formed a close bond with Mr Cheong and Mr Kumar and his staff during my illness and, as we share a great passion for football, it has been a natural direction for me to seek ways in which to raise awareness of this type of cancer and also to attract some funding to support the tremendous work being carried out at both the NNUH and James Paget Hospital.'
John Pitts, president of the youth football league, and league chairman Shaun Platten, said the charity was chosen following the league's long-standing relationship with Mr Morgan and in recognition of his cancer battle.
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NNUH consultant surgeon Edward Cheong added: 'Oesophageal cancer is a very aggressive cancer that affects the gullet and it is vital that it is caught early when treatments are more likely to be effective. Many patients ignore the symptoms such as persistent indigestion, acid reflux and difficulty swallowing – we hope we can encourage people to be aware of symptoms and seek medical advice at an early stage.'
• For more on the hospital charity, contact Louise Cook on 01603 287107 or firstname.lastname@example.org