Corby Town have revealed that assistant-manager David Clarke has been diagnosed with leukaemia.
Clarke, who was appointed as assistant to Tommy Wright at the start of last season which saw the Steelmen crowned Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Division champions, started his chemotherapy yesterday (Wednesday).
In a statement, the club said the doctors are confident Clarke will make a full recovery.
The statement said: “We expect to learn more about David’s situation in due course and we are all here to support him and his family.
“During this time we ask that David’s privacy is placed ahead of everything else and trust that we will share information as we receive it.
“Clarkey is cherished by everyone at the club and he will get every ounce of love and support from us during this time as we wish him a positive and speedy recovery.
“If you would like to send a message of support to Dave please email email@example.com and we will pass them on.”
Corby boss Wright and Clarke have been close friends for a number of years, long before they worked together at Steel Park.
And the Steelmen manager said: “He told me the news earlier this week and it truly is a massive loss to the team and me personally not to have Dave with us. He’s my best mate so has hit me very hard this week.
“I’ve stayed strong for the sake of the boys and put a brave face on it, but it really puts football in perspective.
“He started chemotherapy treatment yesterday and it’s great that he is expected to make a full recovery.
“He is currently on his way home for the weekend before returning to hospital on Monday. It’s been a really tough week for him but he is now speaking positively.
“Everyone at the club wishes him a speedy recovery.
“We are all here to support him and his family and remain hopeful that he will be able to return to the club ASAP, especially supporting me on the touch line to finish what we started together 18 months ago.”