John Hartson

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Footballer & Cancer Survivor

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The former Premier League, Celtic and Wales striker made 400 club appearances, scoring 167 goals. Then he was struck with testicular cancer, only to discover that it had spread to his brain and lungs. Emergency surgery and more than 60 rounds of chemotherapy saved his life. John now helps raise awareness about early detection, alongside his role as Assistant Coach to Wales and Match Of The Day punditry. He urges audiences to re-evaluate their problems.


Known as an uncompromising striker, particularly during his successful spell playing for Celtic, John Hartson also played for West Ham and Arsenal, and won 51 caps for Wales.

John started his professional football career with Luton Town before moving to Arsenal, then on to West Ham and Wimbledon. However, it was his five year stint at Celtic that saw his most successful spell scoring 88 goals in just 146 appearances and cementing his reputation as a fan favourite. Shortly after leaving Celtic, John retired from playing.

Not long after his retirement, John was diagnosed with testicular cancer which had spread to his brain. After receiving treatment, he was told the cancer had also moved to his lungs. After much painful and gruelling chemotherapy and surgery, he was given the all clear.

John speaks about his career on and off the pitch; the highs and the lows, the challenges and the triumphs. Whether it’s his determination to succeed on the pitch, or the determination to beat cancer, and help others do likewise, John’s story is inspiring, entertaining and compelling.

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