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Former Crystal Palace chairman Ron Noades reveals cancer battle
Former Crystal Palace chairman Ron Noades has revealed he is battling cancer.
Mr Noades, who oversaw one of the most successful periods in Crystal Palace’s history, has been fighting lung cancer for almost a year.
In an emotional interview he said doctors at one stage gave him only a year to live if the tumour remained.
The Purley resident is now reliant on oxygen cylinders as he only has use of 19 per cent of his lungs and walking more than ten yards makes him breathless.
It is the first time the 76-year-old has spoken about having the disease. Doctors have put him through courses of chemotherapy, radiotherapy and brain radiotherapy to get rid of a squash ball sized tumour behind his heart.
Mr Noades, whose stewardship from 1981 to 1998 saw Crystal Palace promoted to the old Division One and reach an FA Cup Final, said doctors could not operate on the tumour as it was too close to his heart.
He is currently waiting to hear back from doctors at the Royal Marsden, Chelsea, as to whether the treatment has been fully successful and he is in remission.
He said he had been dealing with the news by trying to carry on with his work and daily life.
He has continued to organise charity events with his wife Novello, who said her husband had shown tremendous courage since he was diagnosed and his strength was a source of inspiration to the family.
Mr Noades said he has been unable to attend games at Selhurst Park due to his illness and he was also unable to attend the funeral of the late Peter Morley, who was the club’s president.
The former Eagles chairman was diagnosed with the tumour in November 2012 before he was about to go on holiday to Barbados.
Treatment began on December 4. He said: "I had a CAT scan at Gatwick the day before I was going on holiday which found I had a tumour behind the heart.
"They wanted to give me treatment straight away but I didn’t want anyone to know that I was ill. I was not feeling ill at that time, I was fine.
"I started three months chemotherapy. On top of that I had six weeks of radiotherapy and that took me through to the beginning of March.
"Then I had brain radiotherapy as a precaution as they found out that lung tumours tend to attack the brain. Apparently chemo doesn’t work on the head so they wanted to treat that in case the tumour moved upwards.
"I got rid of the tumour but the big trouble was that the after affects of the treatment was so severe it left me in a worse state if the tumour was still there.
"But on the other hand if the tumour was still there they only gave me 11 months to live anyway.
"The biggest problem is the damage that has been done to my lungs. I am waiting to get some results back now but we will just have to see."
Despite battling the illness since last November, Mr Noades has continued to organise charity fundraising events with his wife Novello and run his business which has recently seen him acquire a sixth golf course.
Among the charities they have raised money for is the Velindre cancer charity.
Mr Noades’ stewardship of Crystal Palace lasted from 1981 to 1998 and oversaw promotion to the old Division One and an FA Cup Final.
He was also chairman of Wimbledon and Brentford.
But despite his success Mr Noades is held in mixed regard by some fans after the way he sold the club the club to Mark Goldberg in 1998.
Mr and Mrs Noades have both been nominated for a Croydon Champions award for their charity work.
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