Cardiff manager Neil Harris recalled the “very emotional” scenes at the club’s training ground when Sol Bamba revealed he had been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
The Ivorian defender – who turns 36 on Wednesday – started chemotherapy and, in the words of cancer survivor Harris, has a “long journey” ahead of him.
But Bamba, who told his team-mates about his cancer diagnosis on Monday before the club issued a public statement, is keen to attend Cardiff’s training ground and games as much as possible.
“This is very sad and impactful news for everyone within the training ground and the football club, as well as within the fan base,” Harris said in a video interview released by the club. of Sky Bet Championship.
“It’s been a tough week for everyone involved and I spoke to Sol regularly over Christmas time when he found out.
“We’ve come to a point where he’s had time to take it and find out where he’s at in terms of cancer treatment and what his next steps are.
“He had time to digest this with the family and talk to them.
“He felt it was fitting that he had the chance to come on Monday and speak to the players and staff in person before issuing the statement.
“As you can imagine, it was very emotional for everyone on the training ground, and it was a day that I will never forget.
“Sol is an amazing human being. The humility of wanting to put people and their feelings before him is amazing, and we will support Sol and his family in the battle ahead.”
Harris was 23 when he was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2001.
The former Millwall striker and manager underwent radiation therapy and surgery, but made a full recovery to resume his playing career.
“I can benefit from this experience,” said Harris. “I’ve talked to Sol the last few weeks and I know where he’s at – it’s a tough time.
“It obviously brings back some raw emotions to me, but it’s important that we find our own way to help Sol.”