Bristol Rovers goal dedicated to Nick Anderton as they and Forest Green make classy gesture

Both sets of clubs were keen to show that they are supporting professional football player Nick Anderton in his battle with Osteosarcoma

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Bristol Rovers and Forest Green Rovers both showed their support to Nick Anderton in their 2022/23 League One season opener.

The defender, has been with the club since joinining from Carlisle in the summer of 2021 and was a huge part of helping them to get where they are today.

League Two promotion-winning Anderton announced earlier in the week that he was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer.

He said: "This diagnosis has come as a huge shock to both myself and my family; however, we are remaining positive and hopeful.

"I want to thank everyone at Bristol Rovers, especially Club Doctor Ian Ferguson and Head of Medical Stuart Leake, the specialists at the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital in Birmingham and my family for their continued support.”

The footballing world has come out in support of the 26-year-old with clubs across the English Football League and beyond wishing him well in his recovery, including Bristol City.

In what was the first game the Gas have played since Anderton revealed his diagnosis to the public, both Rovers and FGR wanted to send the message to him that they are here for him.

During both side’s warm-ups, Forest Green wore shirts which had the message ‘We’re all with you, Nick!’ accompanied with a picture of him in the blue and white quarters with the number 16 shirt on the back.

A pre-arranged minutes applause had been arranged by Rovers fans on social media on the 16th minute, which is the shirt number of Anderton. Fans of both clubs in all of the stands and terraces in what was a sold out Memorial Stadium all obliged and participated in the applause.

Aaron Collins, who got on the mark with a 70th minute equaliser also dedicated his goal to Anderton, holding up a replica shirt with his name on the back in his celebration.

After the match, the 24-year-old said: “What he is going through at the moment, no one wants to go through. We are all behind him and we are messaging him every single day.

“Our thoughts are with him and his family, we are hoping for the best outcome and we’re gutted not to get the win for him today.”