Premier League stars send video messages for Suffolk best friends fighting cancer

Best friends Lucas and Oliver from Elmswell have both experienced isolation while battling cancer P

Best friends Lucas and Oliver from Elmswell have both experienced isolation while battling cancer Picture: CANCER RESEARCH UK - Credit: CANCER RESEARCH UK

Two best friends from Elmswell who have battled cancer together have received video messages from their Premier League football idols.

Oliver Doughty is continuing

Oliver Doughty is continuing - Credit: PA

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.

MORE: Brave best friends battling cancer share isolation advice

Oliver Doughty is continuing

Oliver Doughty is continuing - Credit: PA

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.

Most Read

“Stay safe, look after yourselves and keep practising your keepie uppies.”

Oliver Doughty is continuing

Oliver Doughty is continuing - Credit: PA

MORE: Ipswich pupil, 13, climbs Mt Everest from home during lockdown

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.”

Oliver Doughty is continuing

Oliver Doughty is continuing - Credit: PA

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.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter