Livingston boss David Martindale admits football has been ‘put into perspective’ following goalkeeper Daniel Barden’s cancer diagnosis.
The 20-year-old, currently on loan from Norwich City, was diagnosed with testicular cancer last month - with the player and both clubs announcing the news yesterday.
Speaking to the Courier, Martindale admits he’d ‘love’ to see the youngster back at the club this season - but that takes a back seat to the player’s health.
He commented: “We wish him all the best. He’s caught it early from what I understand but we all feel a bit helpless.
“You can text and chat to him and send him good wishes, but at the same time you just wish you can do more for him.
“I spoke to him on Monday night and he was overwhelmed with the response from social media and I think that’s a prime example of the positive aspect of social media. You could see the whole football community, and beyond, rallying around him.”
He added: “The athlete in him is coming out. He’s up for the fight and he wants to get on with the treatment. He’s very positive about it all.
“We found out about it a few weeks ago and Daniel chose to stay up here until after the next game before he went to see the specialist so fair play to the kid for doing that.
“It’s been really difficult for some of the boys at the club and it’s been a struggle. Obviously he was really close with the goalkeepers but we all just need to be there to support him.
“Football takes a back seat but it would be wonderful to see the guy back in a Livingston jersey soon.
“It puts everything into perspective. I’m probably the worst for football being everything but when you get someone dealing with this, it hits you hard and puts all that into perspective.”
In a statement issued yesterday, the Wales under-21 international said: “It has been a very difficult and challenging period, but the support of my family, friends and colleagues has helped get me through the last few weeks.
“I can’t thank the medical departments at both Norwich and Livingston enough, as well as everyone at the Royal Marsden Hospital.
“The speed at which everything has moved has been crazy, but everyone has been absolutely brilliant with me. Both Daniel Farke and the Livingston manager, David Martindale, have also been very supportive.”
He added: “The initial diagnosis was a real shock for me, but the positive thing is that we’ve caught it early and the prognosis and next steps have all been positive.
“I’m optimistic and have a positive mindset. I’m confident that I’ll be able to beat it and that I’ll be back out there doing what I love soon.
“I’d like to thank everyone around me for their support. I know that the coming period will be challenging and would ask for privacy for me and my family at this stage. Where possible, I’ll do what I can to update on my progress.
“Thank you once again for the support. See everyone soon.”
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