PLAYER IN FOCUS

Charlie Lawand- The Backpage

I have always had a cheerful disposition. Known to many as Cheeky Charlie, Chuckles, Chucky, I laugh readily and tend to find fun around every corner. However, there was a time in my life when it was pretty hard to be positive. Close to 7 years ago I was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. It came as a shock as I was still playing a lot of sport and generally feeling well. Overnight, I went from running up and down on a soccer field to lying in a hospital bed connected to machines. Family, friends and amazing doctors rallied together and planned an attack on my disease. During this time, sport became a coping mechanism. I watched it on TV, played FIFA with kids in the ward, had visits from my teammates and had arguments with my doctors about who was the best team in the EPL. Sport was a way to take my mind off things and helped me to feel normal and connected with my friends. Sport consistently delivered stories of those who beat the odds, came from behind to win and persevered until the end. I guessed if they could do it, I could too. Much time has passed and I have regained my health. I’m still pretty slow hence my nickname “Treacle”- thanks Tony Canning! I love being part of team, having a laugh, and working together towards a common goal. It was a special honour and a pleasant surprise to receive ‘The Golden Boot’ last year. I share it with my team who helped set up each of my goals. And that’s the lesson I’ve learnt, that life will throw a few curve balls but with a positive mindset and the support of a team, you can make a great comeback!

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