Bristol Rovers players and staff will shave heads in support of teammate Nick Anderton as he battles cancer

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Bristol Rovers have already raised money to support Nick Anderton and his young family as he battles cancer

Bristol Rovers players and staff plan to shave their heads to show solidarity with teammate Nick Anderton as he battles a rare form of bone cancer. Joey Barton and his players were stunned by their teammate’s diagnosis and aim to support Anderton and his young family as much as possible.

The team will shave their heads on January 16, in hopes to raise further funds for Anderton. Club captain Paul Coutts, and Sam Finley will be among the players taking part. The two are particularly close with Anderton having joined Rovers on the same day in 2021 and shared a house together in Bristol.

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Coutts said: "We’ve always been one in support of Nick. In the blink of an eye, his world’s been turned upside down and this is another way that we can help raise awareness of his condition and raise valuable funds for him and his young family at the same time. Some of us have less hair to lose than others and I’m sure Nick’s looking forward to seeing his mates and the gaffer without any."

Anderton played as a defender, and was a popular member of the team that was promoted to League Two last season. The 26-year-old was expected to be a major component in the team again this season until his tragic diagnosis of osteosarcoma in Summer 2022 which he initially thought was a knee injury.

Nick Anderton in action for Bristol RoversNick Anderton in action for Bristol Rovers
Nick Anderton in action for Bristol Rovers

Anderton’s diagnosis shocked everyone at Bristol Rovers, and they have since raised more than £1,000 for their teammate and his young family. Joey Barton has revealed he intends to run the London Marathon this year for his left-back. Fans have also been showing their solidarity with a minute’s applause when the clock strikes 16, which is a nod to Anderton’s shirt number.

In October 2022, Anderton had surgery to remove the tumour and part of his femur. He also confirmed that he has started chemotherapy following a biopsy that revealed the cancer was more aggressive than initially thought.

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