FOOTBALL is a demanding game, and players often take to the pitch battling several niggling injuries and illnesses, but part of the game is to fight through these and keep going.

However, courageous Ilkley Town forward Adam Fowler has been battling a much more serious disease after being diagnosed with testicular cancer.

"After noticing a lump I had to go for a scan where I was told it is cancer," said the 23-year-old, who won the club's most valuable player award last season after his goals played a key role in ensuring they stayed in the West Yorkshire League top flight.

"Two days later I had it removed and I found out shortly after it was a form of testicular cancer and it had spread to my abdomen.

"That day I got told I needed nine weeks of chemotherapy, three of these weeks requiring intense treatment.

"The treatment was gruelling and came with many side effects" he said.

"I unfortunately lost my hair about a week and a half into the chemo.

"I also had a reaction to the chemotherapy towards the start of the treatment which left me in hospital for a week.

"That was the most ill I have felt in my life.

"After that I suffered with loss of appetite and fatigue."

What makes Fowler's story even more remarkable is that last Saturday, he played the full 90 minutes in Ilkley reserves' 4-2 win over Kirk Deighton Rangers, scoring his side's second goal in the 49th minute.

"The doctors told me I could get back playing straight after my treatment," he said.

"I played the final 20 minutes in the first team fixture against Beeston but I was exhausted, as it was my first proper exercise since falling ill.

"Playing the full 90 in the reserves game felt amazing!

"After everything I have been through, it's just a relief to play football again and to get my name on the scoresheet was just like old times!"

Fowler will soon find out if his treatment has been successful. He said: "I still don't know if the therapy has worked yet.

"I go for a CT scan on September 18 and will get my results on September 27.

"Hopefully I get the all clear and can resume life as normal again."

The strong positive attitude shown by the young striker is truly phenomenal. Everybody at the club has their fingers crossed for him that the scan brings good news and that Ilkley can look forward to seeing him smashing the goals in every Saturday afternoon once again.