As part of Men's Health Week, former Ipswich Town player Jason Cundy has spoken about his experience of testicular cancer. Here's what the talkSPORT presenter had to say in an interview with Ross Halls.

Jason Cundy, pictured alongside George Burley and David Sheepshanks after signing for Ipswich Town. Jason Cundy, pictured alongside George Burley and David Sheepshanks after signing for Ipswich Town.  (Image: Newsquest)

It was February 1997 when Jason Cundy received the shock news. Testicular cancer at the age of 27. He had transferred from Tottenham to Ipswich Town just four months earlier.

"In the week building up to a home game against Oxford United I noticed that one of my testicles was completely different then the other - it was large, heavy and looked really strange," he explains.

"But I'd had some stitches in a shin wound that had got infected and I was on antibiotics, so my glands were up on the inside of my groins so I put it down to that. 

"On the day of the game I went to see the physio, Dave Williams, showed him and he laughed because it looked quite funny. Then he said I should see the club doctor (Dr Steve Lazar). About an hour-and-a-half before kick-off I was on the bench getting a message and he came in to look at it. As soon as he saw it, he said 'you can't play today, you need to go to the hospital'.

"I said to him, 'Look, I'm playing, we can do this afterwards'. I do remember when the ball went out of play in the game just looking down at the grass thinking 'what is this?' For a millisecond cancer came into my head, just a millisecond, and then the game restarted. 

"On the Monday, they arranged a scan for me at Ipswich Hospital at 9am. I drove up from London and when I arrived there were two nurses waiting for me outside. I went in, filled out some forms and within less than three minutes I was on a table having a ultrasound. Then, within 10 to 20 seconds of this ultrasound, the guy doing it said, 'Yeah, this is going to have to come out'.

"You can imagine the shock. My palms were sweating. I had so many questions. 'Is it a tumour?' 'Yes'. 'Is it cancerous?' 'We don't know yet, but this is going to have to come out.

"I went back home to my wife, who was in floods of tears. My mum came over and she was crying. 

"For me, once the news sunk in I felt quite fine about it actually. Maybe naively, I wasn't worried about it. I was thinking 'I'm 27 and fit'. I think if I had that phone call the age I am now then I'd deal with it a very different way."

Jason Cundy spent three seasons at Portman Road.Jason Cundy spent three seasons at Portman Road. (Image: Newsquest)

"I went up to the hospital the next day and, again, everyone was there waiting for me. They removed the testicle and when I woke up the pain was just unbelievable. They just gave me some more morphine to knock me out again."I stayed in hospital for a day or two before going back home to recover and then there was about 10 days to find out if it was cancerous.

"We didn't really have the internet then, but I'd done as much info searching as I could and knew I'd ticked all the boxes for classic signs of testicular cancer. So I had it in my head that this was cancer. Eventually we go up to Ipswich again to have a meeting and he just said 'I'm sorry to tell you but it's cancerous'.

"My wife's in tears, but I'm sitting there going 'right, what's the next step?' because mentally I'd already dealt with it.

"I went for X-rays, scans, blood tests and luckily it hadn't spread to my lymph nodes. Because of where the testicle is, away from the body, it's harder for it spread. I was very lucky I got it at stage one.

"It was arranged that the following week I was going to have chemotherapy, but I felt fine, so I went into the club to talk to them about what to do.

"I remember sitting in the boardroom with Dave Williams, (manager) George Burley and (chairman) Mr Sheepshanks and it being very sombre when I told them it was cancer. It's all men in there and you could feel them thinking 's**t', but told them I felt alright.

"We were going for promotion, so I said, 'Look it hasn't spread, I've only been out two weeks, so if I can put the chemo until the end of the season I will'. But the doctors weren't having it. 

Jason Cundy made more than 50 appearances for Ipswich Town.Jason Cundy made more than 50 appearances for Ipswich Town. (Image: Newsquest)

"The following week I had chemotherapy in Ipswich and I listened to a home game on the radio that night, which was quite a surreal moment.

"I did try and get back fit for that season, but it was just pointless. The chemo wiped me out."

Supporters, of course, were confused by the defender's sudden absence.

"It was so secretive," he explains. "I remember speaking to someone from the Ipswich Star and he said a lot of people thought I had been done for drugs because I had just disappeared off the face of the earth.

"One day I'm playing against Oxford and didn't come off injured and then for the next few weeks I'm not even in around the ground, so people were trying to put two and two together. 

"Adam Tanner knew, because he was one of my best mates, and one or two other players as well, then told the whole team before a game. I was pretty emotional doing that. Then, around the time of the play-offs, I did an interview with the News of the World.

"I had the summer off and then struggled for the first 10 games of the following season. We played Bradford away and George took me off just before the hour mark because I couldn't run. I was really worried about how long the effects would last, but thankfully I was able to find my feet."

Jason Cundy helping promote the testicular cancer awareness video called Know Your Balls.... Check them Out in 2002.Jason Cundy helping promote the testicular cancer awareness video called Know Your Balls.... Check them Out in 2002. (Image: Newsquest)

In 2002, there was more bad news. 

"I was in remission, went to see my oncologist and he suggested that I have a biopsy on my other testicle because he felt that my circumstances indicated that it could appear again in the other side," explained Cundy.

"I had the biopsy, went to find out the results and it turned out that there was precancerous cells there. He said, 'You could get it tomorrow, next month or three years' time, but it's happening'. Only a handful a men a year in the UK find it in the other side as well and I was one of them.

"Of course, losing one testicle is one thing but losing both... The complications that come with that as a man are pretty horrendous.

"I decided to have radiotherapy, which basically just kills the testicle, and that meant I couldn't naturally conceive. I had two sons at that point though and just wanted to live."

Remarkably, Cundy became a father again after starting a new relationship in 2015.

"When I met my new wife she didn't have any children but wanted them," he explains. "I had some sperm which had been stored in a freezer in Cambridge for 18 years and the second time we went through IVF she fell pregnant! 

"It quite a mad story. If you think about it, my third son is actually older than my 24 year old, who was born in 2000, because of the wonders of science." 

You can watch the whole of Jason's interview, in which he reflects on his career as a whole, below.