Mark Farren is refusing to give up on his football career despite being diagnosed with a brain tumour.
The Derry City striker is due to have an MRI scan in three weeks time for a “low-grade benign tumour”, and will not play again this season.
However, the 27-year-old, who has scored 10 league goals this season, is refusing to contemplate retirement.
“It’s highly unlikely that I will see the season out,” he said. “I have taken medical advice, the same advice which allowed me to play throughout the season (after he was diagnosed last December).
“I will have a scan in three weeks time and hopefully get the news I want. I’m getting married in December, then hope to enjoy Christmas before preparing for pre-season training with Derry early in the New Year. That’s what I’m praying for.
“I’ve been playing with this condition for the past 10 months and off the field I’ve experienced pressure, but playing the game has been good for me.
“But I feel I have reached the stage that I must concentrate on the condition. The results of my next scan will be very important in relation to what happens next.
“I’ve got to prioritise things and that’s why I want to prepare myself for the forthcoming scan. I don’t wish to take any chance on the pitch just in case I would aggravate something.
“For the first time in my life I feel it’s important that I take a step back from football and concentrate on the immediate future.
“I believe I’ve got a chance to continue my life. I think I’m lucky.”
Farren moved to Derry City in 2003 on a free transfer from Monaghan United and although plagued by injury at the start of his career he was named PFAI Player of the Year in 2005, his first full season of action at the Brandywell.