Joe Thompson: Bury confirm signing weeks after cancer all-clear

Joe Thompson
Joe Thompson was part of the Bury squad that travelled to Tenerife for a pre-season training camp

Joe Thompson has signed a one-year deal at Bury, just seven weeks after being given the all-clear from cancer.

The 25-year-old midfielder's contract at Tranmere Rovers expired at the end of June and he has been training with the Shakers for much of pre-season.

Thompson was diagnosed with nodular sclerosing Hodgkin's lymphoma last October and later underwent a six-month course of chemotherapy.

Bury have also signed ex-Northampton left-back Joe Widdowson.

Widdowson, also 25, has agreed a short-term contract with the club, who begin the League Two season against Cheltenham on Saturday.

Defender James Burke, who joined Bury from Huddersfield last season, has left the club by mutual consent.

Thompson said he was very appreciative of the support he received from Tranmere during his recovery, although he was unhappy with the manner of his summer exit, insisting he was never contacted by anyone in a senior position at Rovers to clarify his future.

In a statement on their club website, Tranmere chief executive Jeremy Butler said: "We did invite Joe to work on his recovery with our excellent medical team this summer ahead of conversations regarding his future.

"Our manager [Rob Edwards] did speak to Joe about his plans, but without assessing his condition was unable to discuss the possibility of contract at that early stage."

Thompson is now concentrating on his return to senior football, telling BBC Radio Merseyside: "It's the unknown for me but I've felt fine throughout it all.

"Nothing's been too hard that I've thought there was something wrong - it's just been a good, hard pre-season."

As part of a pilot scheme and in conjunction with the BBC Sport website, BBC Radio Manchester will be providing a live text service of their sports programme at www.bbc.co.uk/manchester on Saturday, 9 August from 14:00 BST.