U's star reveals cancer scare

AN emotional Wayne Brown last night revealed how he had survived a cancer scare just three weeks before playing in one of the biggest games of his life.

By Derek Davis

AN emotional Wayne Brown last night revealed how he had survived a cancer scare just three weeks before playing in one of the biggest games of his life.

The Colchester United defender gave a man-of-the-match display in the gutsy 3-1 defeat at Premiership champions and league leaders Chelsea.

Brown spoke publicly for the first time about the double operation he needed to remove a cancerous mole from his skull.

He told the EADT: “I needed two operations to remove a malignant mole from my head and thankfully it went well and they got to the bottom of it.

“It turned out that it was cancerous. A biopsy showed the mole had melanoma so it was all a bit worrying for a while. It was a hard time for my wife and my family but we came through it together by being positive.

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“I'm happy now that it is all over now and I can look forward and not backwards.”

Following an initial diagnosis Brown was operated on at the Oaks hospital in Colchester but needed further surgery, which was carried out in Chelmsford. A graft was carried out, using skin from an arm to go on to his scalp.

Brown said: “I'm very grateful for the surgeon and consultants that looked after me.

“Luckily enough the doctor was tremendous and performed the operation successfully.

“The frustrating part was missing the games that I did.”

The scar was obscured by a raft of other cuts and bruises around the head, and Brown sported a black eye with pride after doing such a good job in preventing Didier Drogba and then Hernan Crespo from scoring.

Clutching Crespo's shirt after the game Brown said: “I tried getting inside his and Drogba's shirts.

“It was probably one of my best games, purely down to the calibre of the opposition.”

More than 6,000 Colchester United fans backed Brown and his team-mates and the defender rated the match as one of the most important of his career.

He said: “This game is up there with my debut and being involved in the Wembley play-off final with Ipswich. To play in front of a full house at Stamford Bridge against the league leaders and the reigning Premiership champions with world-class players is where you want to be.”

Brown admitted he did entertain, for a short while, the prospect of a replay.

He said: “When it was 1-1 I remember turning around to Pat Baldwin and saying if we can keep this going then we can take them back to our place.

“Even at 2-1 down there was still a glimmer of hope. We pushed a couple of players forward looking for a goal because we didn't want to come away with any regrets.

“The team, every single player, acquitted themselves extremely well and it was a great credit to the club.”

While Chelsea now take on Barcelona in the Champions League, the U's play Barnsley in an important League One promotion battle.

Brown said: “We have 14 cup finals in the league to get promoted.

“We have Southend at home, we have Barnsley away, both six-pointers. Those are the games we need to win to get promoted.

“The next step for us is to reach the Championship and test yourself against top quality players week in week out.

“We tested ourselves against the best players in the world against Chelsea and did well.”

Brown also thanked the amazing support from U's fans and added that all the players really appreciated the backing.

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