Both sets of fans give Brooks ovation as he plays first game after cancer battle
DAVID BROOKS received a standing ovation from both sets of fans as he made his first appearance since beating cancer.
The Bournemouth star, 25, was diagnosed with stage two Hodgkin lymphoma in October 2021.
He announced that he had made a full recovery at the end of last season, and has since been working his way back to full fitness.
Brooks was on the bench for the first time since beating cancer during his side’s 1-0 win over Liverpool last week.
And he made his first appearance in 525 days yesterday when he came on in the 78th minute of his side’s 3-0 defeat at Aston Villa.
Both sets of fans recognised that Brooks’ battle had been bigger than football, with the Villa faithful, as well as Bournemouth’s, getting off their seats to applaud the Wales international onto the pitch.
Prior to the match, Cherries boss Gary O’Neil admitted that Brooks had been “itching” to return to action.
He said: “Everyone is also delighted for David Brooks and his family.
“He’s itching, but he’s sensibly itching. He knows there’s things to do, but he’ll be involved again tomorrow.”
After last week’s match against Liverpool, Brooks took to Instagram to admit how “special” it felt to be back among the group again.
He wrote: “529 days I’ve had to wait for that feeling… been a long wait and a very difficult period for me and my family but to be able to step back on that football pitch and feel part of the team again was special!
“Thank you to all the fans for the great reception and hope you enjoyed that immense performance from the boys.”
Prior to his illness, Brooks was a key player for the Cherries.
The right winger has made 91 appearances for Bournemouth, scoring 17 goals and laying on 12 assists.
Brooks’ importance to the Cherries was underlined last summer, when they rewarded him with a new four-year contract.
At the time, the Welshman said: “I am so pleased to have signed this deal and am looking forward to the next few years with this great club.
“Of course, the last year has been extremely difficult for myself, my family and friends but I’m now in a position to resume my career, and getting this deal over the line is the icing on the cake.
“I am working hard alongside the excellent coaching team at AFC Bournemouth and am hoping to be back on the pitch soon.
“In the meantime, I’ll be supporting the lads every step of the way.”
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