Premier League stars send video messages for Suffolk best friends fighting cancer
PUBLISHED: 11:46 30 June 2020 | UPDATED: 11:46 30 June 2020
CANCER RESEARCH UK
Two best friends from Elmswell who have battled cancer together have received video messages from their Premier League football idols.
Classmates Oliver Doughty and Lucas Newton both play for Elmswell Youth FC but haven’t played together since before coronavirus lockdown due to their cancer fights.
The two have been battling the disease together but were forced into isolation during lockdown, with their fathers helping them stay in touch by recording keepie uppie practice in their back gardens.
Oliver, 12, was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in 2018 and is halfway through a three-year treatment plan, while fellow 12-year-old Lucas was now been given the all-clear after being diagnosed with Burkitt lymphoma in 2019.
After hearing of their stories, football idols Hugo Lloris and John Stones sent the pair video messages to motivate them to keep raising money for Race For Life.
In his video message, Spurs captain and France international Lloris said: “I know you have been separated for a long time because of your illness and now the virus, but it’s fantastic that you are keeping in touch and helping others while in isolation.”
Man City and England defender Stones added: “We know how much you have been through together and it’s inspiring to see, and just how strong your relationship is.
“Stay safe, look after yourselves and keep practising your keepie uppies.”
After watching the video, Man City fan Oliver, who is on target to achieve 200 keepie uppies a day, said: “It was so cool and really kind of Hugo and John to send their messages.
“Lucas is my best friend. We have known each other for ages, we play in the same football team and, since we both got diagnosed, we have become even closer.
“Isolation is difficult but you just have to keep busy, learn something new, like another language.”
Lucas’ father Scott, 41, said the messages of support were “amazing”.
Mr Newton added: “We are all so very proud of them both.
“Lucas and Oliver are friends for life.
“When both boys were diagnosed with cancer it left us all in complete shock.
“For it to happen to two lads who have been best mates for years is beyond words.”
Information on how to raise money for Race For Life can be found here.
If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the East Anglian Daily Times. Click the link in the orange box above for details.