Former Manchester United striker Andrew Cole has revealed he has been suffering from kidney failure – forcing him to withdraw from an upcoming charity match at Old Trafford.
The 44-year-old, who won five Premier League titles and the Champions League during a trophy-laden spell with United, said he is not well enough to play in the UNICEF Match for Children, which will take place on November 14.
“In June of this year I suffered kidney failure, caused as a result of contracting an airborne virus and I have been under medical care ever since,” Cole said in a statement. “I was admitted to hospital and diagnosed with a condition called Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis.”
Cole said he had spent close to three weeks in hospital undergoing a kidney biopsy and dialysis, and he is continuing on a course of steroids which has led to a slight change in his appearance.
In thanking his doctors at the Manchester Royal Infirmary, as well as his family, Cole added: “Together we have been through some dark days. However, the good news is that I am feeling better as each day passes and the consultant is hopeful that I will make a full recovery by next spring.”
Cole said he would remain in his role as an ambassador for United.
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