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Ex-Premier League star Michael Brown raises £60,000 for his 'lifesaving' hospital

NewsEx-Premier League star Michael Brown raises £60,000 for his 'lifesaving' hospital

Ex-Premier League ace Michael Brown has told of his pride at raising £60,000 for his ‘lifesaving’ hospital – after developing skin cancer during the 2020’s lockdowns. Michael, 46, played a career total of 650 games scoring 58 goals for Tottenham, Man City, Leeds, Fulham, Sheffield United, Port Vale and Wigan Athletic.

In lockdown the now BBC and ITV pundit had successful surgery at Manchester’s The Christie Hospital when diagnosed with a malignant melanoma mole during a routine medical.

Last Sunday he ran the London Marathon for The Christie Charity, to support those who potentially saved his life – with donations flying in from almost 400 people including Coleen and Wayne Rooney, and Kyle Walker.

And as he recovers from his gruelling 3 hour 38 minute-effort, he was back this week at The Christie to reveal his pride at helping the cancer centre that saves countless lives every year.

The married father-of-three explained: “I was lucky my medical team quickly spotted the cancer before it had spread any further and the excellent staff here potentially saved my life.

“When my wife and I were first told a mole on my back was a serious concern it was a horrible moment, one of the worst in my life.

“The doctors said straight away ‘we think this is a bad one’ and sent me for more tests. I’ve had moles removed before but nothing was ever found. It was obviously a big shock.

“The Christie’s consultant David Mowatt did tests and realised there was cancer there – and it had spread slightly across my back.

“He removed a slither of skin around a couple of inches across to be safe and we hope that they got it all. I will have check-ups every three months now.

“It was an alarm bell moment and makes you think. I’ve always liked the sun and remember many a time burning my back sunbathing. Now I’m more aware and warn others to use shade and slap on factor 50 lotion!”

Describing his run for The Christie he said: “The end of last year I wanted to give something back and the idea of running the London Marathon came up.

“I decided to go for it – now my legs feel like jelly still but I’m so thankful and moved by the hundreds of people who dug deep and donated.

“I’ve had some huge donations but some people have told me ‘I can only afford a tenner’ and they can in a way mean so much more.

“It’s incredible the generosity and I hope the money helps change other patients’ lives the way The Christie has helped positively change mine.

“There so many people who appreciate The Christie, not just myself. Everybody says what a wonderful job that hospital does – the amount of people that they treated and who benefit from it.”

Michael’s cancerous mole was first spotted at his annual medical check-up organised by the League Managers’ Association.

He admitted skin moles are common in his family and never really considered the possible dangers of too much sunbathing until his frightening diagnosis over two years ago.

He and wife Ela kept the initial news from his wider family for fear of worrying them and within weeks he was referred to The Christie and met their consultant plastic and reconstructive surgeon Mr Mowatt.

Michael explained: “We wanted to know how far the cancer had travelled before we told my wider friends and family. I wanted it removed as quickly as possible.”

Afterwards, explaining how he ended up competing in the London Marathon, Michael revealed how he initially just started running last autumn to get back into shape after years out of the professional game.

He said: “For the last five or six years, because of the career as a footballer, I have been able to do pretty much anything with my time I have wanted.

“I could go out socialising with friends, go on nice holidays, got to the pub and eat nice meals – but then my personal trainer suggested I needed to go for a 65 minute run. I was exhausted afterwards and realised how out of shape I really was.”

Michael’s 14 year-old daughter Lalli painstakingly messaged her dad’s JustGiving page to all his 2,000 contacts in his mobile to kickstart the fundraising which has now seen almost 400 people donate to.

He admitted: “When I agreed to do it I knew then I was accountable to others and I had to train hard and do justice to all those who were going to back me, and to The Christie.

“I had never actually run 26 miles before last Sunday and by 18 miles I was really leggy. From 20 miles it was no joke and 22 miles in I had to stop briefly to stretch my quad muscles! When I crossed the finish line my legs went all wobbly!”

Delighted surgeon Mr Mowatt said Michael’s fundraising will help the lives of many others, adding: “We are incredibly grateful Michael chose to take on the challenge.

“He has raised a phenomenal amount of money which will go towards helping other cancer patients. Fundraising makes a huge difference to the care and treatment that The Christie is able to provide.”

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