May 2018 A Wembley Dream

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28-year-old Rochdale FC midfielder Joe Thompson was first diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma, a form of cancer, in 2013 but overcame the disease after a six-month course of chemotherapy. However the cancer came back on Christmas Eve 2016, but once again, Thompson emphasised his determination to beat the disease for a second time. And he did.
 
Speaking about making that second comeback for Rochdale in their 1-1 draw against Walsall in February, Thompson said: “It felt like I was the gladiator walking back into the arena after being seriously injured in a war. I didn’t know whether to smile or cry.”
 
One thing which helped with his recovery was Joe’s dream to play at Wembley. On February 28, he realised his Wembley dream. With the League One side already 4-1 down and heading out of the FA Cup against Tottenham, boss Keith Hill decided to bring Thompson on from the bench. It certainly helped raise Rochdale fans' spirits in the snow as their side headed out of the famous old competition with a 6-1 loss. A day, Joe Thompson will never forget.