Page last updated at 14:29 GMT, Tuesday, 11 August 2009 15:29 UK

Hartson discharged from hospital

John Hartson
John Hartson's family have thanked staff for his treatment

Former football star John Hartson has been discharged from hospital, where he has been having treatment for cancer.

The 34-year-old ex-Wales, Arsenal and Celtic striker was diagnosed about a month ago with testicular cancer, which spread to his lungs and brain.

He was initially treated at Swansea's Morriston Hospital and was transferred to a cancer ward at Singleton Hospital in the city last week.

The hospital said he would continue with chemotherapy as an outpatient.

Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University NHS Trust said in a statement: "John Hartson has completed the first phase of his chemotherapy treatment and has been discharged from hospital.

"He will now continue his chemotherapy treatment as an outpatient of the hospital."

His family also issued a statement thanking all the staff at the two hospitals for "their support in getting John to this stage in his treatment".

Last week, the retired player spoke for the first time following his diagnosis, thanking staff and fans who had sent him messages and gifts.

He said: "People have taken time out to write a message and buy a card and that means a lot."

Some of the most recent messages and support have come from other sporting figures such as boxer Joe Calzaghe and former Wales and Manchester United footballer Mickey Thomas.

He has also had support from troops in Afghanistan and US Marines, his family revealed, along with Lance Armstrong, the American cyclist who has himself overcome cancer.

The footballer, whose other clubs included Luton, West Bromwich Albion, Coventry and West Ham United, had surgery on his brain before starting chemotherapy.

Hartson retired from football in February 2008 and had been working as a television pundit.

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