Newcastle youngster Liam Gibson preparing to face Sunderland after 'life or death' surgery

Newcastle youngster Liam Gibson preparing to face Sunderland after 'life or death' surgery

January 31, 2022

LIAM GIBSON is preparing to face bitter rivals Sunderland on Tuesday – 18 months after the operation which saved his life.

The Newcastle Under-21s left-back was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis – inflammatory bowel disease – in January 2015 and had to have an emergency operation in the summer of 2017.

Gibson, 21, was told the surgery was “a matter of life and death” and he admits he felt depressed and suicidal as he recovered in hospital with a colostomy bag.

But the defender made an inspiration recovery to return to action at the start of this season – and is now ready for tonight’s Checkatrade Trophy tie at the Stadium of Light.

Gibson said: “At one point during my illness, I thought about packing in with playing football completely.

“I'm now back and have played nearly half a season so I'm very glad that I continued to stick at it.

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"Being back in the team is unbelievable and if I'd missed an opportunity to be a part of the game against Sunderland, I could never forgive myself for it.

“I now take a completely different approach to playing football then what I did in the past."

Meanwhile, former Toon defender Jose Enrique has updated fans on his recovery from brain surgery.

The Spaniard, who was diagnosed with a rare brain tumour in May 2018, posted pictures of him undergoing proton therapy – alongside an inspirational message to his Instagram followers.

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