Goals For Cure charity match returns to Rochdale to raise money for Joe Thompson's treatment

Date published: 10 May 2024

A special charity match led by Dale legend Joe Thompson and former Dale youth player Bader Al-Akkad is being played at the Crown Oil Arena this weekend.

Both men have fought Hodgkin’s lymphoma and have joined forces to bring the Goals for Cure match to Rochdale on Saturday 11 May.

A Joe Thompson XI will play an All Star team filled with City and United legends and YouTubers to raise funds towards Joe Thompson’s GoFundMe page.

Joe is currently undergoing treatment for cancer for the third time after confirming in April that he has been diagnosed with Stage 4 Hodgkin's lymphoma.

Joe and his family aim to raise £250,000 to cover the costs of his ongoing treatment, and to pioneer a groundbreaking test that could prevent the recurrence of not only Joe's cancer, but potentially save countless lives in the future.

Former Premier League players are set to feature in the charity game, including the likes of former Dale man Paul McShane, as well as Stephen Ireland, Phil Bardsley, Jermaine Beckford and Papiss Cisse.

Mark Wright was the first celebrity confirmed, and he has since been joined by YouTubers BillyTheGoat and Mordzs.


Joe Thompson with his daughters at the event last year
Joe Thompson with his daughters at the event last year


In a post on his GoFundMe page, Joe said: "Now, the cancer has returned with a vengeance, spreading to my lungs.

"In the face of adversity, I've been collaborating with oncologists and scientists, self-funding research to uncover the root cause of my recurring illness."

A former pupil at St Vincent’s Primary School in Norden and St Cuthbert’s High School, Joe spent six years at Rochdale in the first team before moving to Tranmere Rovers in 2012.

After he announced that he had defeated cancer for the second time in June 2017, Joe made an emotional return to play for Rochdale in their FA Cup replay against Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley in February 2018, realising a dream of playing at the national stadium.

Joe played in Dale's final game of the 2017/18 season against Charlton Athletic, scoring the goal that meant Dale survived relegation from League One on the final day of the 2017/18 season, before eventually announcing his retirement from football on 5 February 2019.

Kick-off is 4pm and tickets can be purchased online at www.goalsforcure.co.uk or at the stadium.

The link to Joe's GoFundMe page is www.gofundme.com/f/Team-Thompson-against-cancer-again

Over £90,000 has been raised already.

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