Hartson grateful for support
Published 07/08/2009 | 15:00
Former Wales international John Hartson spoke today for the first time since he was admitted to hospital with cancer to thank well-wishers for their support.
Hartson, who is continuing chemotherapy treatment which started earlier this week, also said he was "feeling well" at the moment.
The former Arsenal and Celtic striker was transferred from a hospital critical care unit to the care of the cancer team at Singleton Hospital in Swansea after progress in his treatment.
Hartson, 34, has been diagnosed with testicular cancer which has spread to his brain and lungs.
He was admitted to hospital in his home city of Swansea last month where he underwent emergency surgery.
Hartson said today: "I'm feeling well at the moment.
"I'd like to thank all the wonderful staff for the excellent care they have been giving me.
"I'm really grateful to all the people who have sent messages, cards and flowers - they have been such a big lift to me and my family. People have taken time out to write a message and buy a card and that means a lot."
Some of the most recent messages and support have come from other sporting figures such as boxer Joe Calzaghe and former Wales and Manchester United footballer Mickey Thomas.
Hartson added: "I'm not going to be able to thank everyone personally for their message but I appreciate every one, both from inside and outside football.
"And the biggest thanks to my fantastic family and friends."
Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University NHS Trust appealed to fans not to phone or turn up at the hospital to inquire about his health.