Ipswich Town legend Paul Mariner says he is ‘fighting’ after serious surgery
- Credit: Archant
Ipswich Town legend Paul Mariner has thanked well wishers on social media after it was reported the former Blues striker is recovering from brain tumour surgery.
The club great, who was part of Bobby Robson’s golden era at Portman Road, replied to a message of support from a Town fan today.
Mariner, 67, tweeted: “Thank you, I’m fighting and have incredible people looking after me.”
The centre-forward, who won the FA Cup in 1978 and the Uefa Cup in 1981 with Ipswich, scored 139 goals in 339 games for Town from 1976 to 1984 and also earned 35 England caps.
Former teammate and Blues manager George Burley said Mariner is a “huge character” with the “heart of a lion”.
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“I think anyone who knows Paul, and all the Ipswich Town fans, will be really saddened to hear about it,” he said.
“He was a fantastic player, who had a great career with Ipswich, England and the other clubs he was with.
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“He’s a huge character with the heart of a lion. He’s been a legend for the club and was a major part of the club’s success, winning the FA Cup and UEFA Cup.
“He’s a fabulous fella. Everyone sends him their best wishes.”
Former Town defensive rock and fellow FA Cup winner Allan Hunter also said he was “very much” sending his best wishes to the former Town number nine, who also played for Plymouth Argyle, Arsenal and Portsmouth during his career.
“He is one great lad. I spoke to him a while back, but it’s come as quite a shock,” he said.
“He was a big strong man, they used to tell us centre halves, ‘give the ball to Mariner and he’ll do the rest.’ He’s a lovely lad, with a great sense of humour and loves a joke.”
The club also showed its support for Mariner today, tweeting: “Everyone at #itfc is with you @PaulMariner.”
Mariner was inducted into the Ipswich Town hall of fame in 2011.
Following his playing career, Mariner coached in America with New England Revolution before a spell back at Plymouth as manager in 2009.
He also enjoyed a spell as head coach of Toronto FC.