Dundee United central defender Ryan Edwards has been praised for his stoicism as he gets on with his football career after cancer.
Edwards (27), who joined the Tangerines from Blackpool in the summer, was diagnosed with testicular cancer in January 2018 while a Plymouth Argyle player.
After that massive blow, there was fabulous news for Edwards and his family just three months later when, following treatment, he was given the all-clear.
His rehabilitation is ongoing and United manager Micky Mellon revealed that Edwards missed the recent home game against St Johnstone not through injury but because he had to go for his six-monthly check-up.
He returned to the fold as an unused sub against Hamilton on Saturday.
Tannadice boss Mellon has admired the ways Edwards has conducted himself since joining United and stressed how the club are giving the player all the support and encouragement he needs.
“You know about his cancer treatment and his ongoing rehabilitation from that,” said Mellon.
“Ryan had to go and get his six-monthly test to make sure that he is OK and that is real life stuff.
“That is the reason he wasn’t involved (against Saints). He had to go and do that.
“I asked him about it because it’s all new to me, even though we’ve all been touched by things like that.
“It is important, in football, that everyone knows it can happen to anyone and we want to send our support out to anybody affected.
“Ryan said if he doesn’t hear anything it’s good news. He hasn’t heard anything so I take it that’s good news.
“I am so proud of him.
“He is a big, positive guy and what he has battled back from is incredible.
“Not in one heartbeat does he even whinge and moan about it. He cracks on and shows great human qualities.
“He is a terrific kid.”
Mellon highlighted the support network that is in place for Edwards or anyone else at Tannadice who needs it.
The United manager added: “Having that team camaraderie is massive to him and we do try to put support groups around people.
“As well as cancer, we look at Covid, depression etc and it is important that we ask people how they are. I mean, really speak to them.
“I’m massive on that here: ‘How are you? Are you OK today?’
“We have to make sure people know that you’re there for them.
“We try to set that example in football, support all our players, get around all our players and try to make sure they know we are here .
“We are a team and we are a group.
“We will always be those things– on and off the park.”