Beckenham man Chris Currie was having a swimming race with his wife in a Greek sea when he suddenly had to return to shore during a 2016 holiday.

Despite playing football every week, Chris, a healthy financial services worker, was strangely out of breath.

“I didn’t see it coming,” the 37-year-old told News Shopper. “But when you look back you see the signs. Even people at work were telling me I looked tired.”

After the holiday, Chris went to hospital with his wife, Louise, after spotting head sores.

In September 2016 Chris was diagnosed with colon cancer.

All he remembers was feeling numb and wondering what happens next.

Just a few weeks later an operation successfully removed a tumour, but a second “routine” operation was required.

During treatment it is believed doctors inserted a line into Chris’s neck incorrectly, resulting in a stroke.

Chris was unable to move his left side and was rushed to Kings College Hospital.

He said: "I had cancer which has gone, but I’m now stuck with my stroke forever.

“For the first three weeks I couldn’t even stand. All I was thinking was that I need to kick a ball again.”

After the lowest of lows Chris refused to feel sorry for himself and in March 2017 he kicked a football once again.

“It was a dream, it really was,” Chris said. “I couldn’t believe I was kicking a ball. It was unreal.”

Chris still suffers from weakness in his left side, but is working relentlessly to get stronger every day.

The Arsenal fan spoke about some of his lowest moments during his recovery.

He said: “My independence was taken away at first. Sometimes I really miss doing things that I used to be able to do.

“I can’t type with my left hand. It takes a long time.”

However, Chris is determined to keep fighting and he is inspiring others along the way.

“I will never stop fighting,” he said. “I still have a long journey to go. But I will stay strong and help other people.

“I need to make a new life for myself. I never expected this to happen but you just have to deal with it.

“I always say to people never to give up, keep going and keep going.

“I am trying to get better myself, but it is nice to look out for other people too.”

A spokeswoman for the Stroke Association told News Shopper: “Stroke is cruel. It strikes in an instant and its devastating effects can last a lifetime.

"In the UK stroke is the leading cause of disability and there are 1.2 million people living with the physical and emotional after-effects.

"Many people, like Chris, have to cope with the massive and sudden impact this condition brings.

“Chris has shown tremendous courage and determination to get better after his stroke, and is proof that there is life after stroke.”