Hartson in intensive care following brain operation

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The Independent Football

John Hartson has undergone emergency neurosurgery to relieve pressure on his brain, the hospital treating him said yesterday.

It was revealed earlier this week that the former Celtic, West Ham, Arsenal and Wales striker had been diagnosed with testicular cancer, which had spread to his brain. A statement from Morriston Hospital in Swansea said cancer had now also been diagnosed in his lungs.

Hartson's family said in a statement: "His partner Sarah, mum, dad, three children, brother, two sisters and very close friends are all continuing to support John in any way we can.

"He is receiving outstanding care from all the medical and surgical staff and we would like to thank everyone at both Singleton and Morriston, as well as the excellent ambulance staff.

"We have been overwhelmed by the support and goodwill from many thousands of football fans, players, clubs and sporting figures and we have drawn strength from this support.

A Celtic spokesman said: "He has served the club, and the game of football in general, with distinction over many years. Clearly, everyone at the club fully supports John and his family at this extremely difficult time."