Joe Thompson

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  • Former professional footballer for Rochdale, Tranmere Rovers, Carlisle United and Bury

  • Winner of 2019 Tom Finney Award

  • Established public speaker

Joe is a former professional footballer and was signed by Manchester United aged 9, where he spent six years living every boy’s dream.

He was devastated when the club released him at 16 but he bounced back to forge a career in the Football League, playing for top flight clubs Tranmere Rovers, Rochdale and Bury, before his life was thrown into turmoil.

At 23, Joe was diagnosed with a rare form of blood cancer, which he received treatment for and went into remission. Joe returned to playing football for Rochdale but cancer returned. For a second time following treatment, Joe went into remission.

Shortly after, Joe retired from the game he loved, stating: “With the intense treatment my body has had to endure over the last six years, it is no longer able to perform to the demands of the professional game.”

Joe has written a book called Darkness and Light: My Story, detailing his incredible story and is a confident and passionate public speaker and regular football co—commentator.

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