Former England, Crystal Palace midfielder Geoff Thomas paid tribute to the Birmingham medics who helped save his life, as he collected a top university honour
The ex-footballer, leukaemia survivor and charity fundraiser told students and academics that he wouldn’t have been here without the work of Birmingham’s Professor Charlie Craddock and his team, as he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by Birmingham City University on Monday of last week.
The presentation was made during a ceremony held at Birmingham’s Symphony Hall, alongside students graduating from the University’s Faculty of Health, Education and Life Sciences.
Thomas was selected to receive the award in recognition of the millions of pounds he has helped raise for blood cancer charities since recovering from the disease – despite being told he had just three months to live in 2003.
Speaking at the ceremony Thomas said: “I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for a certain Professor Charlie Craddock and his wonderful team.
“He guided me through a year of treatment, radiotherapy, chemotherapy and through the stem cell transplant which saved my life.
“I’m so proud of that a little old charity which Charlie set up is doing some great things, we are moving forward and we are making a difference.”
After retiring from the game in 2002 he was diagnosed with a form of leukaemia and given just three months to live.
After a stem cell transplant from his sister and treatment by Prof Craddock he entered remission two years later.
Thomas has dedicated his life to raising funds for blood cancer patients, starting the Geoff Thomas Foundation, which raises funds to fight cancer, and regularly taking part in activities for charity Cure Leukaemia.
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