Cancer, comebacks and call-ups

Ann-Katrin Berger's cancer battle and PFA Team of Year honour

Cancer, comebacks and call-ups
Photography: Daniela Porcelli/Zuma Press/PA Images

Five months can be a long time in football. In November 2017 goalkeeper Ann-Katrin Berger was dealt the devastating news she had cancer. Five months later she was named in the PFA Team of the Year. Here’s her story, in her own words.

This was the timeline: diagnosis, 17 November 2017; operation, 5 December; first game back, 4 February 2018. In the space of 76 days, my life changed completely. I was a fit and healthy footballer, battling for trophies with Birmingham City. Now I was fighting a completely different battle after being diagnosed with thyroid cancer.

When I found out the news, it was a shock. I’m sure everyone says the same thing. The timing was also not the best, although you could probably question when would be a good time to get this kind of news! It hadn’t even been a year since my dad had passed away, and my family was already struggling with this loss.