Young Crewe goalie has leg amputated after cancer diagnosis

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Image source, Family photo
Image caption,
Ashton was training with Crewe Alexandra's academy when he fell ill

A young goalkeeper who was thought to have pulled a muscle in training had to have part of his leg amputated after being diagnosed with bone cancer.

Ashton, 12, from Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire, was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in December while playing for Crewe Alexandra's academy.

His family first thought it was an injury picked up on the pitch, but doctors eventually diagnosed cancer.

A fundraising page has raised almost £100,000 to help with prosthetics.

Ashton's mother Vicky said they have been overwhelmed with support.

"We have had so many football teams, whether it's grassroots academy teams, their professional teams, [they] all wanted to help and raise money," she said.

Ashton began chemotherapy but it did not shrink the tumour and medics decided in March to amputate.

Image source, Crewe Alexandra
Image caption,
Ashton is determined to keep playing sport despite his major surgery

Vicky said the surgery removed the tumour and her son has been "so brave, he's just been phenomenal".

Despite having his knee, lower leg and foot removed on his right leg, Ashton said he wants to get back playing sport again.

"I just keep motivated because some people are not blessed to keep their life with cancer. 

"So I'm like if I can get through this I can get through that," he said.

Messages of support have poured in on social media, including one from the England national team and former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original tweet on Twitter

Ex-England captain Alan Shearer recorded a video message saying Ashton had been "unbelievably brave".

In April, after the operation to remove his leg, his club welcomed him back with a guard of honour and a round of applause.

Image source, Crewe Alexandra
Image caption,
Ashton said the support from Crewe Alexandra and his home city had kept him going

Vicky said they have been "so blessed" with all the support they have received.

She added: "Stoke-on-Trent definitely look after their own."

Her son added: "I just want to say thank you and it has definitely kept me and my mum going."

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