Wolves 'keeper Ikeme retires after leukemia battle
Wolverhampton Wanderers and Nigeria goalkeeper Carl Ikeme confirmed his retirement from professional football on Friday following a battle with acute leukaemia.
The England-born player, who was capped 10 times and named as an honorary 24th player in the Nigeria squad at the recent World Cup, revealed last month he was in complete remission from the disease.
“The support has been incredible,” the 32-year-old, who has been with Wolves for his whole career, said in a statement on the club’s website.
“Every day someone has asked me how I am for a whole year. It’s incredible to think people actually care so much that they’ll do fundraisers in my name.
“I spoke with the doctor and he suggested I should retire, because of the toll the treatment has taken on my body,” he added.
“He thinks it’s what is best for me and I can’t really risk trying to come back – my health is the priority.”
Wolves executive chairman Jeff Shi said: “Having been at the club since the age of 14, Carl is far more than just a player in our eyes – he is our brother and an important part of our family.
“When Carl came to tell us his news, yes there was sadness, but also great happiness to see him so healthy and hungry for the opportunities that lay ahead of him.”
Ikeme was part of two promotion campaigns. He played more than 200 games for Wolves, promoted to the Premier League last season, as well as dozens of matches during a series of loan spells.
Meanwhile, Wolves, who have returned to the English Premier League for the upcoming season, have been busy on the transfer front, bringing in the likes of Portugal veterans Joao Moutinho from Monaco and goalkeeper Rui Patricio from Sporting Lisbon. – AFP