Lincoln City manager Michael Appleton speaks for the first time after being diagnosed with cancer, the club have revealed on Tuesday.
He is set to take a break from football over the next few weeks as he prepares to have surgery for testicular cancer, before then needing time to recover from it.
His side finished fifth in the regular League One season, but were beaten by Blackpool at Wembley after a memorable victory over Sunderland in the semi-finals.
Appleton took over as Imps boss in September 2019, the fifth English Football League club he has managed following spells at Portsmouth, Blackpool, Blackburn Rovers and Oxford United.
Imps manager Michael Appleton is to take a short break from his role as Imps manager as he has surgery on a cancerous tumour.
— Lincoln City FC (@LincolnCity_FC) July 13, 2021
Imps chief executive Liam Scully says the club will support Michael Appleton as he takes a short break from his duties to recover from surgery.
Appleton will take a break of around 10 days following an operation scheduled for Wednesday to remove a cancerous tumour.
Scully said: “It goes without saying that the most important thing is Michael’s health, and we’ll provide whatever support we can. Football is our secondary concern at times like this.
“He will want to be back as soon as possible but I wish to be clear that he will be given as much time off as he needs and we absolutely do not want to see him back until he is ready.
“Plans for the new season are well underway, Michael has driven them and they’ll continue on track. We are all looking forward to the new season and are right behind Michael, on and off the pitch.”
MICHAEL APPLETON’S LETTER:
“Hello Imps fans. I hope you’re all looking forward to the new season as much as I am. We’ve enjoyed being back training at the Elite Performance Centre and there is a real belief and determination that we can build on last season.
“Preparations are well underway, and we’ve had two good runouts at Reading at Nottingham Forest. Don’t read anything into the scoreline, as they were really about building the players up towards match fitness after working them hard in training.
“Our new arrivals Chris Maguire and Lewis Fiorini have really added to the squad. I know Chris well having worked with him before, and he will bring good experience and knowhow for us – and will be a great example for our younger players to follow. Lewis is really good signing for us with a wide range of passing in his armoury, and we’re confident of getting some other quality additions signed up soon.
“Although things are going well on and off the pitch at the club, I do have some news to share with you which means you’ll see and hear a bit less from me over the next couple of weeks.
“A few weeks ago I was diagnosed with testicular cancer and will have the tumour removed this week. There are some quite scary words in that sentence, but this is quite a routine operation and the indications are that I should be back up and on my feet in no time.
“I do need to take a bit of a break, though, and after the surgery will be taking a couple of weeks to recover. This means I won’t be in the dugout for some of our pre-season games, but will be liaising closely with the coaching team as we continue preparations for the campaign.
“Our transfer plans are all on track and won’t be affected – modern technology means there won’t be any escape from me for my colleagues and I’ll be able to watch videos from the games. I will remain in close contact with Liam Scully and Jez George, and I’m looking forward to a bit of remote working to see what the fuss is all about!
“I’m not the sort of person who goes into much detail about these things, but I wanted to make sure you were all aware so you knew why I have to sit out a few games.
“There’s loads of advice out there about the early signs of cancer and what to look out for – if you have a lump or any other change please do get it checked out by a GP. – Michael”
Fans and clubs reacted as the Lincoln City manager speaks for the first time after being diagnosed with cancer…
Nothing but positive thoughts & best wishes to Michael whilst he deals with this. The man is a winner & will no doubt one hopes finishing the season as promotion winner with the Imps 💙
— Darragh MacAnthony (@DMAC102) July 13, 2021
Best wishes for a speedy recovery from all at Aggborough ❤️
— Kidderminster Harriers 🦅 (@khfcofficial) July 13, 2021
The thoughts of everyone at #afcb are with Michael and his family. We hope to see him back on the touchline soon ❤️
— AFC Bournemouth 🍒 (@afcbournemouth) July 13, 2021
💙 Wishing you a speedy recovery, Michael. We’re sure you’ll be back in the dugout in no time.#BHAFC 🔵⚪️
— Brighton & Hove Albion (@OfficialBHAFC) July 13, 2021
Everyone at Maidenhead United wishes you a speedy recovery, Michael. ❤️
— Maidenhead United (@MUFCYorkRoad) July 13, 2021
Sending our best wishes to Michael ♥️
— Exeter City (@OfficialECFC) July 13, 2021
Everyone at Coventry would like to wish Michael a speedy recovery 💙
— Coventry City (@Coventry_City) July 13, 2021
Wishing you a speedy recovery, Michael! 💙
— Blackburn Rovers (@Rovers) July 13, 2021
Wishing you a speedy recovery, Michael. 💙
— Birmingham City FC (@BCFC) July 13, 2021
Wishing you a speedy recovery, Michael! 👊
— Sunderland AFC (@SunderlandAFC) July 13, 2021
Sending Michael our best wishes from Derby County.
Stay strong 🖤
— Derby County (@dcfcofficial) July 13, 2021
Speedy recovery, Michael! 💙
— Tranmere Rovers FC (@TranmereRovers) July 13, 2021
@BenOnWheelss: Very sorry to hear that, all the best with the operation and the recovery! Big fan of Michael’s work when he was with Oxford, he’s still very much missed by me! Look forward to seeing you back at work very soon. 👍
@jamiecsmith21: Brave to speak out, wishing a speedy recovery.
@HicksDanny: Wishing you all the very best in your treatment and recovery Michael. You’ve got this. 💛💙
@PompeyPedro: Get well soon Appy. All the best.
@lauren_breen1: Speedy recovery ❤️🩹 but also thank you for the honesty there’s such a stigma around men’s cancer & health it’s refreshing when someone is open and honest especially a man who is massively looked up to & seen as a real mans man! ❤️🩹
@dunn_richdunn: I have been through this myself and hope Michael makes a full recovery and joins me in the survivors club. Boing Boing.
@SpacesSteve: Thoughts with you and your family at this difficult time, speedy recovery, we imps will wait for your safe return in good time.
@cbarson: Best of luck Michael. If anyone can beat this, you can. Hopefully you’ll be back in time for our game against Lincoln at the end of August. You’ll be assured of a warm welcome by all Oxford fans if so.
@SuperLeedsUtd5: Best wishes to Michael for a speedy recovery and good luck to the Imps for the new season after your impressive playoff run last year.
@bensteck: Best of luck MApp. Everyone at OUFC is right behind you, look forward to seeing you back in the dugout soon.
@COLINDLYNCH: Wishing you a fast speedy recovery Michael sad news but I am sure you will be back at it very soon. Fantastic season last season done us in the Playoffs and rightly so IMO and think with the signings you have made again you will be a huge threat to all in league 1 again.
@pne_craig: All best appy #pnefc
@cclarke100: Get well soon Michael, best wishes… (Luton fan)
@_bensmith96: Best wishes to Michael, it sounds like he has caught it early and will make a speedy and full recovery which I am glad to hear! 💙
@BennyHodge92: All the best Michael. Hope everything goes the way it should. Speedy recovery. (Cheltenham fan)
@derbynutter: Get well soon. From a Cambridge fan 💛🖤
@MuckersThe: All the best Mike 🍊🍊
@andygilhooley82: Get well soon Michael, you’ll beat the crap out of it 💙
@TonyFretwell: Wishing you all the best for a swift recovery 🧡
@superO1881: Wishing you a full and speedy recovery. From a @leytonorientfc fan 👍🏻 #lofc
@Grantnffc1: All the best Michael. See you safe & healthy on the other side leading the Imps to promotion. 👊
@royal_seano96: Very best wishes from all at Reading FC, hope for a speedy recovery!
@Robbeezley: Horrible news. Come back stronger gaffer we love you and we will have your back! ❤️