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Mick Harford battles prostate cancer

Accrington Stanley v Luton Town – Sky Bet League One – Wham Stadium
(Image credit: Anthony Devlin)

Luton assistant manager and chief recruitment officer Mick Harford is battling prostate cancer, the club have announced.

The 62-year-old will start a course of radiotherapy treatment in mid-August which will keep him away from Kenilworth Road.

Harford was diagnosed with cancer in December 2020 but continued to work with the Hatters through the Covid-19 pandemic.

As a player, Harford scored 92 goals in 217 appearances for Luton including the 1988 Littlewoods Cup win, and managed the side to a Johnstone’s Paint Trophy and League One title wins.

Speaking to the club website, he told the club’s supporters: “What I want is to raise awareness and encourage other men to go and get themselves checked out.

“That’s what I did and it’s not something that we are good at, us middle-aged and older men.

“We don’t like to talk about illness or go to the doctor, because we think we might be wasting their time, especially in the current climate with Covid. It is so vital not to think like that.

The early symptoms of prostate cancer aren’t always noticeable, which is why it is so important to go to your GP and get checked out.

“I know a few people at the football club who have gone and done so since I was first diagnosed, and if our wonderful supporters can do one thing for me, it is to do exactly that, because early diagnosis is so crucial.

“I’ve been on hormone medication treatment for several months, but I now need to have a course of radiotherapy, at UCLH in London, where my oncology team have been brilliant with me.

“I’m really happy with the treatment I’m receiving, albeit it’s going to be a long journey which means I won’t be around on a daily basis at the training ground, which as everyone knows, is what I love doing.

What’s essential to me is that the focus of the club should be on the new season, which we’re on the cusp of.

“I want to thank everyone at the football club for their support. Gary and the board, Nathan, the staff and all the players have been so helpful to me over the past few months.

“Please continue to give them your wholehearted support. I will be on hand to help them and the players in whatever way I can, whilst also raising awareness about prostate cancer, to help others.”

A number of football clubs including Harford’s former clubs Sunderland, Birmingham, Derby and Lincoln,  have taken to Twitter to offer him their full support.