Recuperating Wolverhampton Wanderers goalkeeper, Carl Onuoha Ikeme has sent a message of appreciation for supporters of his club, for unfolding a banner in his honour during Nigeria’s friendly against England on Saturday.
Though Ikeme admits he is still receiving treatment for leukaemia, he says the banner was another boost in his recovery process and thanked the Wolves’ fans for their effort at The Home of Football.
Ninety Wolves supporters travelled down to London on Saturday to unfurl the banner at the national stadium during England’s friendly with Nigeria.
Ikeme would have been heading to the World Cup with Nigeria this summer had he not been diagnosed with leukaemia last year, and the 31-year-old has been named as an honorary member of their squad.
Ikeme, who has played 10 times for Nigeria , was diagnosed when he returned for pre-season training last year, but says he is relieved with various morale boosting efforts from Telford Wolves supporters’ group.
Ikeme said: “I just want to say thank you to Telford Wolves and everyone who has been involved in showing me such great support, and particularly taking your flag around the country, during the season.
“I don’t think people will ever realise how much of a boost it has given me to know that Wolves fans have still been thinking of me, particularly when I have had tough times during the treatment.
“I only need to log on to Twitter to see that support, and to see photos of the flag at Molineux or an away ground, and it has made such a difference.
“I am doing ok, but still having treatment, so unfortunately won’t be at Wembley for the game.”
Wednesfield FC named a stand after the Wolves keeper last year, and Mark Hadley was one of the organisers who put on two buses down to Wembley full of Wolves fans.
He said: “It’s unprecedented really because they don’t allow crowd-surfing banners at Wembley but they were very recipient towards it.
“Carl’s message was read out on each bus before the game. It was a real lump in the throat moment.
“Everybody who was on that bus was to support Carl, none of us went to support England. We’ll carry on flying this flag until Carl is well enough to help us pack it away.”