Ricky Lovelace will never forget the day he discovered a lump on one of his testicles. There were tears. All kinds of fears went through his mind.
A specialist confirmed Ricky had cancer.
The Skegness Town goalkeeper, though, never lost hope. Neither did his family and friends.
Twelve months on and he’s been given the all-clear. Now, he’s about to become a dad for the second time.
Little wonder a huge smile lights his face as he admits: “Life is pretty good!”
He tells a remarkable story and one which he hopes will inspire others to seek advice early.
He added: “I actually found a lump on my other testicle.
“I went for a scan and they said that testicle was alright but they’d found something in the other one.
“They told me they were going to monitor it.
“Then, in September, they told me I needed an operation to have it removed.”
Ricky knows the fact he went to the doctors so quickly could have saved his life.
He’s imploring other men to do the same.
He added: “Because it was discovered so early, the specialist said I’d done the right thing. It was a bit lucky really. I was told you’re unlucky you’ve got cancer but you’re lucky you found it so early.”
Ricky is a teaching assistant at the Haven High Academy and lives in Sibsey with his wife Sarah and two-and-a-half-year-old daughter Isabella.
Just days before the operation, he’d discovered his wife was pregnant.
That news completed a roller-coaster of a ride for the 30-year-old.
He added: “I’d never really thought about cancer. The important thing is I did something about it. I just wanted to get it sorted. I wanted to get on with the rest of my life.”
Ricky is one of the stars of Woodhall Spa Cricket Club and celebrated his return with a matchwinning century in their opening game of the new season.
Ricky is full of praise for the support he’s received from family and friends - and staff at Boston Pilgrim Hospital.
He added: “There were tears at first. You do worry but the big thing is it (the cancer) had not spread. Now, well, life is good.”