Page last updated at 16:26 GMT, Saturday, 25 July 2009 17:26 UK

Cancer boy's support for Hartson


Former cancer patient Cai Davies sends wishes to hero John Hartson

A teenager who five years ago was supported by striker John Hartson through a battle with cancer is now trying to help the footballer.

The former Arsenal, Celtic and Wales star is critically ill in hospital as he fights cancer diagnosed this month.

Cai Davis from Newcastle Emlyn, Carmarthenshire, was helped by Hartson when he had a brain tumour.

Now in remission, he is sending his support to the player who befriended him and even made Cai a Wales mascot.

The former player's condition continues to be critical but stable.

Cai Davies
I know and I'm sure his family and friends know that he'll get through this
Cai Davies

Hartson first called football-loving Cai and told him he would get through the illness when the cancer struck.

He signed football shirts for the teenage and made a big fuss of him when in 2005 he walked out with Hartson as a mascot for Wales.

"He went round and had a Welsh national tee shirt signed for me and that was a great feeling," the teenager remembered.


But earlier this month the 34-year-old father-of-three, who was capped by Wales 51 times, was confirmed to have testicular cancer which had spread to his brain and lungs.

He is undergoing treatment in Swansea's Morriston hospital, where he is in a critical but stable condition.

Welsh and Scottish fans staged a charity game for John Hartson in Cardiff
Welsh and Scottish fans staged a charity game for Hartson in Cardiff

Goodwill messages have come from all quarters and among them is one from the teenager he gave such an important boost to and who now says he is "heartbroken" about his hero's illness.

"He doesn't deserve this. He must be feeling down, ill, upset and he probably feels like it is the end of the world.

"But I know, and I'm sure his family and friends know, that he'll get through this."

Cai has now sent Hartson a letter telling him he is looking forward to having a chat with him soon, and that he is thinking about him.

• Welsh football supporters took on their Scottish counterparts in a charity match at Llanishen Leisure Centre in Cardiff on Saturday to show support for Hartson.

They have set up a donation page at

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