Former Fulham, Birmingham and West Brom striker Geoff Horsfield has revealed he is suffering from testicular cancer.
The 34-year-old, who was released by Sheffield United last summer and hoping to earn a contract at Walsall, has been forced to retire as a result and will undergo surgery next week.
Horsfield told the Daily Mirror: "I found a small lump in my left testicle and went to see the doctor at West Brom, who's a good friend of mine.
"I was diagnosed last Friday and I'm going in for surgery next Thursday. The surgeon has told me that this is the end of my professional career, which is disappointing.
"But I've had 10 good years with Fulham, Birmingham, Wigan, West Brom and all the other clubs I've played for and enjoyed it.
"That's at the back of my mind now. It's just one of those things and I've come to terms with my career being over.
"All I'm thinking about now is beating this. I've always been a fighter right through my football career and I'm going to fight this and win."
Horsfield has been told he has a good chance of recovery after the diagnosis was made early.
He added: "The specialist told me I did well to find the lump because it is so small," he said. "He says I stand a good chance of making a full recovery because we've got in early."