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Page last updated at 14:32 GMT, Friday, 12 March 2010
Nigel Callaghan faces bowel cancer battle
Nigel Callaghan
Nigel Callaghan scored some memorable goals for the Rams

In his prime, Derby County winger Nigel Callaghan specialised in terrorising opposition full-backs at the Baseball Ground with his speedy runs.

But now the 47-year-old faces an altogether different challenge as he prepares for an exhausting cancer battle.

Nigel, who has worked as a DJ since retiring from football, was diagnosed with bowel cancer last November.

After painful surgery, he now has weeks of gruelling chemotherapy ahead of him.

Nigel told BBC Radio Derby's Shane O'Connor: "I got diagnosed with arthritis about a year ago so they had me in for blood tests every couple of weeks.

"It was during one of these they discovered some abnormal blood cells so I was referred to hospital to have a camera inside me.

Nigel celebrates scoring for the Rams

"I went along thinking it was going to be a routine procedure but when I was lying down looking at the TV screen, the doctor found something, turned to me and said 'that doesn't look good.'

"He pointed at the screen and said 'do you know what that is?' When I said no, he told me 'that's a tumour'.

"There was an eerie silence. You don't know what to say or think. As soon as you hear the word 'cancer', you think 'is that it for me?'

An operation to remove the tumour took place in January but doctors found tiny traces of cancer around the bowel passage and so Nigel is now preparing for a course of chemotherapy, due to start next week.

Nigel's treatment has meant he's been unable to work as a DJ, so friend Lee Poulter is in the process of arranging a charity match to raise money for his living expenses.

A number of former Rams players have already been approached and Lee is hoping the plans can be fleshed out in the weeks to come.

In the meantime, Nigel will be hoping the chemotherapy is successful and he can soon get back to the place he loves best - behind the decks.



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