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Wednesday, 6 December, 2000, 12:32 GMT
Stubbs offered one year extension
Alan Stubbs in action for Celtic against Rangers
Alan Stubbs in action for Celtic against Rangers
Celtic are poised to offer Alan Stubbs a new one-year contract extension as he continues his battle against cancer.

Manager Martin O'Neill was worried that fears over his future with the club would add to the burden being shouldered by the defender.

Stubbs's current deal expires in the summer and with the full backing of the board, the Parkhead boss has moved swiftly to end the uncertainty by guaranteeing the 29-year-old at least one more year.

O'Neill told the Celtic View: "The board agreed with me that, both for football and humanitarian reasons, we should offer Alan an extra year at this time.

Concentrate on his health

"It is going to be a good few months before he is back playing, but this will allow him to concentrate on his health.


It is going to be a good few months before he is back playing, but this will allow him to concentrate on his health
  Martin O'Neill
"I was delighted the board were unanimous in their backing of this and it will take the worry off Alan's mind that this is a 'make or break' season for him.

"Humanitarian grounds apart, I've always said that, if the end of the season was tomorrow, I would have wanted to sit down with him.

"Like anything else we'll see how it goes from there, but I'll be happy to see him starting another campaign with us. I just hope he has better luck next season."

Good progress

The man who has had the closest contact with both Stubbs and Dane Morten Wieghorst, now making good progress in his fight against Guillain Barre Syndrome, is club doctor Roddy Macdonald.

He has experienced the ups and downs of both players since they were diagnosed with their respective conditions.

And Macdonald insists the Celtic pair are facing their problems head-on and are totally focused on playing for the Premier League leaders again.

Stubbs stunned onlookers at Parkhead by turning up for a light training session last week and the club doctor claims that even a second battle with cancer has not dampened the former Bolton star's spirits.

Attitude

Macdonald said: "Immediately from being given the news he had suffered a relapse, Alan's attitude has been fantastic.

"I was sitting with him and his wife when he received the diagnosis and it struck me straight away how positive he was and how well he reacted.

"Knowing the guy, you could see that it wasn't a front - it was absolutely genuine.

"That's a big boost because it has been medically proven that having a positive frame of mind in relation to an illness can have a positive effect on how someone responds to treatment."

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