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2013/09/23

​A successful career



Initial feelings of excitement and nerves have been quelled by the heartbreak of defeat against your bitter rivals. You think life couldn’t get any worse.

For Alan Stubbs however, how to register a business life after Celtic’s 1999 Scottish Cup final loss to Rangers was about to get far worse.

“As I was walking up the pitch, I was pulled to one side and told I’d been selected for a random drug test,” the former player recalls, speaking to TheScore.ie. “Obviously, I was angry because we’d been beaten and suddenly, having to go and do a drug test and be away from my teammates.  I wasn’t a happy man at the time, but I honestly believe that that did save my life.”

While Stubbs was perturbed to have to undergo this ordeal at such an awkward moment, he reluctantly went through with the testing and thought little of it for a while thereafter.

However, a  few weeks later, he received the phone call that would change his life irrevocably.

“When I got the news, I was playing golf, so I’d finished for the summer. When I got the call from our club doctor, [I heard that] my drug test had come back positive, which I thought had to be a mistake, because I don’t do drugs.

“I was intrigued as to why it was positive, so that’s when the doctor started to explain that I was producing a hormone which, when found in men, is linked to cancer g-suite cardinal manchester. That’s when he said — have you felt anything different and I said ‘no, I feel great,’ and that’s when I had an ultrasound on my testicles and it showed that I had testicular cancer.

“My first thoughts were all about football. From speaking to the doctors initially, without knowing the results of the operation, they were trying to portray a confidence by telling me I had a really good chance of pulling through. I probably went 100% on their word at the time.
“Was I confident in coming through it? I’d have to say yes. Was I 100% right? No, I just totally went with what they said. And I just tried to not to think of it becoming really serious or about the prospects of dying.”

While having cancer was always an extremely difficult experience, Stubbs found it manageable initially and recovered relatively quickly after a successful operation. However, 18 months later g-suite, the disease came back and became worse than ever.

“It was the second time I did that, when I had the relapse and they found a tumour down my spine. That was the more serious time, where I actually did think: ‘I could die this time’. That was the one that took me to the darker places. That was the harder one to try and stay positive on.”


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