LONDON - Nigerian international goalkeeper Carl Ikeme who plays for second tier English side Wolverhamton Wanderers has been diagnosed with acute leukaemia, the club announced.
The 31-year-old England-born goalkeeper - capped 10 times - returned "abnormal blood tests" during pre-season testing and further checks confirmed the diagnosis.
"It would be an understatement to say that everyone at Wolves has been shocked and saddened to hear the news of Carl's diagnosis," said Wolves managing director Laurie Dalrymple.
"That relates to both players and staff as Carl has been at the club for a very long time and remains such an integral personality within the group.
"At the same time, we all know what a fighter and a competitor Carl is, and I have no doubt that he will take all of those attributes into this battle."
Ikeme - who has been with Wolves for his entire career, making more than 200 appearances since 2003 although he has spent spells out on loan - has received plenty of support on twitter.
"Stay strong Carl Ikeme, I am sure you will overcome this battle!" tweeted Bournemouth's Croatian international goalkeeper Asmir Begovic.
Ikeme's Nigerian team-mate Brown Ideye also tweeted his support.
Just woke up to see a very sad news about @Carl_Ikeme with God you can overcome everything, stay strong mate.