Joe Thompson: Rochdale midfielder says goal was 'fate'

Joe Thompson
Thompson was playing for Tranmere when he was first diagnosed with cancer in 2013

Rochdale midfielder Joe Thompson, who has twice recovered from cancer, says scoring the goal that saw his side avoid League One relegation was "fate".

Thompson's 69th-minute winner in the 1-0 defeat of Charlton was his first goal since returning to action in December.

"You can say it's written in the stars, fate, destiny and there's been a lot of hard work I've had to do," the 29-year-old told BBC Radio Manchester.

"It's all come down to today and it's proven that it's been worth it."

Thompson, who was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma while at Tranmere Rovers in 2013, was given the all clear in 2014.

He is now in complete remission again after being diagnosed with cancer again in March 2017.

'It just felt like slow motion'

Since returning to action during the Christmas period, he has made 11 appearances for Dale and says he has enjoyed being given another chance to return to the pitch.

"I never had it easy and it's something that my mum has instilled in me," he said. "You make the best out of a bad situation and play the cards you're dealt and you just make the best out of your hand.

"It's been a rollercoaster but today's a massive high, a massive, big moment for my family and I'm sure we'll celebrate and enjoy it."

With Oldham drawing at Northampton to send both sides down, Thompson's winning goal proved decisive in the survival fight.

"It just felt like slow motion," he added. "I was in the box, had a bit of time, got it onto my left and then put your foot through it. I kept it low.

"We were dead and buried at Christmas but since then the lads have been absolutely amazing. We could have wrapped it up beforehand but it's come down to the last game of the season and we've done our side of the deal.

"We're in League One next season which is where we deserve to be and the manager Keith Hill is unbelievable for the club.

"I thought it was a really gutsy decision to put me on at the time and it's paid off for him."

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