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Wednesday, 16 April 2014

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Andrew: ‘My dream to wear Haven shirt’

BRAVE prop Andrew Jones is determined to win his cancer battle and again pull on his beloved Whitehaven jersey.

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Team spirit: Haven players pictured with team mate Andrew Jones, left, before they took to the water for their sponsored swim. More pictures on page 45

Now 23, the long-time Haven fan and former scholarship kid was diagnosed with testicular cancer three years ago and underwent a bout of chemotherapy over Christmas.

But he has never given up hope of one day returning to action for Haven.

“I just want to play,” said Andrew. “My dad’s dream was for me to play for Whitehaven and it’s mine as well – to put on the shirt and play for the first-team.

“I can remember my dad taking me to my first game when I was little. I’ve been contracted for four years but I have been there since the scholarship first started.

“The club means a lot and everybody has been fantastic with me.

“I had more treatment over the Christmas period and lost three stones. I’m hoping to play again and it all depends on my first scan after this treatment.

“I’m stating to feel a lot better in myself and can get out and about. I feel I’m getting back to normal.”

Andrew signed a new 12-month pro deal in May 2009, but he spent much of last year battling his illness.

In addition to Haven, he thanked his family and girlfriend Debbie, and employer Johnson’s Controls, for their patience during his enforced absence from work.

Gary Hewer, Haven’s head of performance and player development, said: “Andrew’s part of our club and always will be.

“He didn’t go away and feel sorry for himself, he came to the club and mucked in, helping on match and training days. Credit to the lad.

“He started with the club as a boy and is now a man. He’s part of our structure and will remain so.”

Haven stars braved icy waters in the town’s harbour to take part in a sponsored dip to raise funds for the popular prop at the weekend.

“It was a good turnout and the players wanted to do it for him,” said David Seeds, who with fellow coaches Les Ashe and Chris Wright joined in the dip.

Haven had been due to join in the town’s annual New Year’s Eve charity dip, renamed the Golden Sands Polar Bear Club.

But they had to delay after their Boxing Day clash with Workington Town fell victim to the big chill and was rescheduled for January 3.

Regular New Year dipper Gary McKeating, of Haven sponsor Nuclear Management Partners, was on hand at the weekend to help out the Recre favourites.

“I’d like to thank every one of them” said Andrew. “It’s very much appreciated.”

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