Cardiff star Sol Bamba speaks for first time since devastating cancer diagnosis

Sol Bamba has spoken publicly for the first time since his Non-Hodgkin lymphoma diagnosis, thanking fans for their support and insisting he will "get through this".

The Ivory Coast defender – who celebrated his 36th birthday on Wednesday – has started chemotherapy following this week's devastating announcement.

Bamba, who told his team-mates of his cancer diagnosis on Monday before the club released a public statement, wants to attend the training ground and Cardiff games as much as possible.

There has been an outpouring of support for the Cardiff City hero, who has been at the Welsh club since 2016 having previously played for Leeds and Leicester in the English leagues.

And the popular footballer has now taken to social media to show his gratitude for the support he has received this week.

He wrote on Instagram : "Thank you for all your birthday and well wishes over the last few days.

"Your support at times has left me speechless and I’m sorry that I couldn’t reply to every message but believe me I read them all! I know I’m going to get through this."

Bamba's message comes after Cardiff manager Neil Harris recalled the "very emotional" scenes at the club's training ground when the defender revealed his heartbreaking news.

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"It's very sad news and hard-hitting for everybody within the training ground and football club, and within the fan base as well," Harris said in a video interview released by the Sky Bet Championship club.

"It's been a difficult week for everybody involved and I spoke to Sol regularly over the Christmas period when he first found out.

"We've got to a stage where he's had time to take it in and find out where he's at in terms of treatment for the cancer and what his next steps are.

"He's had time to digest that with the family and speak to them.

"He felt it was only right that he had the chance to come in on Monday and speak to the players and staff in person before releasing the statement.

"As you can imagine it was very emotional for everyone at the training ground, and it was a day that I'll never forget.

"Sol is an incredible human being. The humility of wanting to put people and their feelings in front of himself is astonishing, and we'll support Sol and his family in the battle ahead."

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