‘Miracle’ twin boys for ex-footballer who beat testicular cancer
A former Irish League footballer who won his battle with testicular cancer but thought he could never have children again celebrated the birth of his twin boys yesterday.
Richard Clarke, who used to play for Portadown, said his miracle sons Seth and Jacob were a complete surprise to his family after he overcame his cancer almost three years ago.
The former midfielder (35) and wife Karen are already parents to seven-year-old Abbie and three-year-old Emily.
The couple had accepted they may never have children again because of the chemotherapy treatment, but last year they got the biggest shock of all - they were expecting twins.
The Castlederg man, who now manages hometown side Dergview, said: "I was diagnosed with cancer two days after we told our family that Karen was pregnant with Emily.
"It was a stressful time for us, having to go through treatment and deal with pregnancy.
"That was three years ago but I'm in remission and get checked every five months to see if everything is OK but so far everything is going well.
"It was a nice surprise when we found out Karen was pregnant as we weren't sure if we could have anymore because of the chemotherapy.
"There was a good chance of damage during the treatment so it was good to hear she was pregnant and a bigger shock to hear she had twins.
"It was a mini miracle as we were hoping to have another child so it's a big bonus for two."
The ex Shamrock Park star, who lifted the title with the Ports in 2002, said that Seth, who was born at 2.13pm, weighed 5lb 3oz while little Jacob who was born at 2.40pm, weighed 5lb and 10 oz.
Mr Clarke said: "They are small babies but they are doing very well. That's the family complete now, we will have our hands full for a while.
"It's strange as there are no twins on my side of the family but my wife has four cousins who have had twins recently."