THE outpouring of support for Argyle defender Ryan Edwards was clear for all to see during their match against Wigan Athletic – including for the man himself, who was at the match.
The Green Army learned on the Thursday before the Greens’ 3-1 defeat to the Sky Bet League One leaders that Edwards would be forced away from the field, after being diagnosed with testicular cancer. The news hit everyone hard – but it was something that only Ryan, his manager, and very few others were made aware of many weeks earlier.
“It’s a difficult time for him, but one thing I will say is that he’s known for a number of weeks now,” said Adams.
“He’s played in games, he hasn’t told anybody, and he’s shown a mental strength that he’ll need to have to get through the situation. It was his choice. I think that Ryan would’ve played until the end of the season if he could’ve, but unfortunately, that’s not his choice. With the tumour he has, he had to get that removed, and now he has to be treated. He was willing to do that, but he has obviously been pulled in because of the seriousness of the situation.
“I’ve known for a few weeks now. We’ve had to keep it from a lot of people, and it’s been a difficult time, but it was important to keep the privacy for Ryan and allow him to deal with the situation, until it went public on Thursday.
“He’s been a strong boy, he’s done exceptionally well since coming to this football club, and we’re very supportive of him.”
In the midst of negative news such as this, we often see the best in people and society as a whole. As Ryan begins his recovery from surgery, he will be under no doubt of the support he has from those close to him, those within the football, and everyone concerned with Argyle. In the eye of Derek, though, this should come as no surprise.
“It shows that the footballing world all pull together when something like this happens,” said Adams.
“He was at the game today. You could see that the fans are going to support him. The players 100% will support him. I had to tell them on Thursday. It wasn’t an easy time for anybody, but we’re there for him and he’ll get the best possible medical help here as well.
“This is a very caring football club, and it’s a football club that support their people. We’ve seen that today. We’ve seen that by the turnout and the support towards Ryan. That’s why I look at any player coming to this football club, and any player that thinks that they might want to move on from this football club; they should maybe have a wee think again.
“We’ve got a fantastic support. I stood there on the touchline today thinking: ‘why would any player want to move to somewhere where there’s only 3,000 or 4,000 people at a game?’ The only reason for that is money.”