City keeper Barden hoping for good news as cancer treatment ends

Daniel Barden of Norwich during the Sky Bet Championship match at the Cardiff City Stadium, Cardiff

Daniel Barden in Championship action for Norwich City at Cardiff in January 2021 - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Norwich City goalkeeper Daniel Barden is hoping he is at the end of his treatment for testicular cancer and that he can target a return to training at the end of this season. 

The Wales Under-21 international impressed during four appearances for City last season but a couple of months into his first loan spell, at Scottish club Livingston, he received his worrying health news. 

Barden, 20, found a lump in September and just a few weeks later was told it was a tumour that would require treatment and time out from the game. 

However, the towering keeper completed his treatment before Christmas and has updated supporters on his progress, discussing the distressing process. 

“I had surgery to remove the tumour, which was the first stage of the treatment, which was only five days after seeing a specialist,” Barden explained, in City’s official OTBC matchday programme. 

“After the surgery I was told a PET scan had found a small amount of the cancer had spread and would need further treatment. 

“Hearing that news was incredibly hard as in my head I was already planning to be back at Livingston for the end of November and playing again. 

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“It was then decided that chemotherapy would be the best treatment to deal with the spread. Each cycle is divided into three weeks. Week one is a five-day course in hospital followed by one session each week for the next two weeks. 

“It was recommended I did three cycles for the best possible outcome, which is a cure. The week in the hospital is pretty intense but it got a bit easier when I was back at home with my family. 

“It has been quite a long period but I am in my ninth week now, so I am pretty much finished.” 

The Norwich players warm up wearing shirts showing support for Daniel Barden of Norwich, the young g

The Norwich players showed their support for Dan Barden at Chelsea earlier this season - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

The youngster was a trainee at Arsenal before joining Norwich in 2019, spending his first season on loan in non-league at Bury Town. 

After coming into the team when Tim Krul was ill and Michael McGovern was injured last season, he was rewarded with a new contract until 2024, with the option for a further year. 

City’s players all wore supportive warm-up shirts saying ‘stay strong Dan’ at Chelsea after the news and Barden spoke in the interview about the support he has received from so many people from Norwich and Livingston, as well as the Royal Marsden Hospital in London. 

The Canaries had hoped to have Barden and his family at Carrow Road on Boxing Day as guests of joint majority shareholders Delia Smith and Michael Wynn Jones, but with the increase in Covid-19 rates it was decided to wait until a time that is deemed safer. 

His focus for now is on getting the medical results following the cancer treatment so that a plan for resuming his career can be put in place. 

“How I rehab and work my way back to fitness, and back between the sticks, has been in my mind throughout,” Barden continued. 

“It has been a tough period, physically dealing with the chemo but also mentally. The doubts and worries that go with professional football don’t go away, especially as this is all I’ve really focused on since I was six or seven years old. 

“It is tough to know at the minute when that will be because I will have a scan at the end of this month, and I will be waiting on the results from that. 

The Norwich players warm up wearing shirts showing support for Daniel Barden of Norwich, the young g

Canaries keeper Tim Krul showing his support for Dan Barden - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

“I am still not 100 per cent sure what the timeframe is but they are looking at the back end of this season and the start of next season. 

“In terms of my career so far, the success last year was brilliant. For a first season in the first team, I don’t think you can ask for a much better one. 

“I really enjoyed the games I played in and it was really special to be involved in that December/January period. 

“This year obviously hasn’t gone as I would have planned but once I make the full recovery, which I know I will, I can get back out there playing, doing what I love.”