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The former Luton Town player and manager Mick Harford has been diagnosed with prostate cancer and is undergoing treatment, the club have revealed.
Harford, who is currently the Championship side’s assistant manager, was first diagnosed in December 2020. The 62-year-old is now stepping back from his daily duties and will begin a course of radiotherapy in mid-August.
“We are sorry to inform supporters that Mick Harford is currently fighting prostate cancer,” a club statement said. “As you would expect from a man who has fought so many battles over five glorious decades in football, this is not one that Mick is taking lying down.
“He has continued to perform his duties with the same commitment and determination he has always shown for every role he has fulfilled at Kenilworth Road. It doesn’t need saying, but everyone gives their love and best wishes to Big Mick – who will be supported by his Luton Town family every step of the way.”
“What I want is to raise awareness and encourage other men to go and get themselves checked out,” Harford said. “That’s what I did and it’s not something that we are good at, us middle-aged and older men. We don’t like to talk about illness or go to the doctor … especially in the current climate with Covid.
“It is so vital not to think like that. The early symptoms of prostate cancer aren’t always noticeable, which is why it is so important to go to your GP and get checked out,” he added. “I know a few people at the club who have gone and done so since I was first diagnosed, and if our wonderful supporters can do one thing for me, it is to do exactly that, because early diagnosis is so crucial.
“I’m really happy with the treatment I’m receiving,” Harford concluded. “It’s going to be a long journey which means I won’t be around on a daily basis at the training ground, which as everyone knows, is what I love doing.”
Harford scored 92 goals in 217 appearances across two spells at Luton, the highlight of a 20-year playing career which also took in Lincoln, Birmingham City, Derby, Chelsea and Wimbledon among others. The forward also earned two England caps in 1988, the same year he helped Luton to League Cup glory as they beat Arsenal in the final.
As a manager, Harford won the EFL Trophy in his first stint at Luton in 2009, before returning to the post in 2019 after Nathan Jones’ departure to Stoke. He led the Hatters to the League One title and promotion before stepping down at the end of the season.