Euro 2024 qualifiers: David Brooks does not want 'sympathy minutes' after cancer recovery

The midfielder said he will be "over the moon" to put the Wales shirt on again Credit: PA

Midfielder David Brooks has said he does not want "sympathy minutes" as he prepares for his international return following cancer treatment.

The 25-year-old could play for Wales against Armenia in a Euro 2024 qualifier, having received his first call-up since recovering from stage two Hodgkin Lymphoma.

Diagnosed with the blood cancer in October 2021, he made his return for club side Bournemouth last year.

Saying he does not want people to feel sorry for him, Brooks added: "I don't want anything to do with 'He's had this so we'll just give him this to make him feel better'".

Brooks made his return for club side Bournemouth last year Credit: PA

On his Bournemouth return and his rigorous training before coming back to club football, he continued: "I believe it was earned on merit, not just on who I was or what I'd done four or five years prior to that.

"I think, like I say, I don't want any single type of sympathy in regards to club or national level, so if I do get something it'll be on what I earned."

Talking about his preparations ahead of Friday's game, Brooks said: "When I've been training and things like that, I've not felt out of place. I've felt good. I've felt sharp."

It was at the Euros in 2021, when David explained during a medical check that he wasn't putting on any weight, struggling to sleep and had experienced night sweats.

A blood test and a biopsy later revealed he had stage 2 Hodgkin lymphoma.

"You almost don’t want to believe it. When you hear the word ‘cancer’ as a young lad you don’t expect yourself to be in that position where you need to know everything about it, unless you’ve had a relative that has gone through that process", he said following treatment.

David Brooks celebrates winning promotion to the Premier League at the end of the Sky Bet Championship match in 2022. Credit: PA Images

"I’d have the chemo, feel horrendous for a week, start to feel a bit better, then as soon as you start to feel well enough to leave the house, you have to go back and do it all again.

"My girlfriend was amazing. No-one wants to find themselves in that situation and she’s probably seen the worst of me with all the side effects of chemo, but I can’t speak highly enough of her.”

The Dragons are also in a strong position ahead of tomorrow's match at the Cardiff City Stadium.

They made a strong start in their bid to reach a third consecutive major tournament, earning four points from their opening two qualifiers.

Debutant Nathan Broadhead scored a dramatic late equaliser against Croatia in Wales' first Euro 2024 qualifier Credit: PA

A dramatic late equaliser from debutant Nathan Broadhead gave Wales a point, before Kieffer Moore provided the only goal of the game as they beat Latvia 1-0 at home.

Turkey and Armenia sit third and fourth in group D respectively.

Wales will take on Armenia at the Cardiff City Stadium on Friday, before travelling to play Turkey on Monday.

Talking about just what it will mean to pull on the Wales jersey again after all this time, Brooks said: "It's been two years since I've been here and the aim was always to get back in a Wales shirt at some point and to finally do that after the journey I've had will be very special.

"I think it'll be even more special for my family back in north Wales and to everyone who's kind of been affected by any sort of cancer.

"I think it just provides a little bit of hope and I'll be over the moon to finally put that shirt back on."

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