Former Sheffield United favourite joins touching tribute for cancer-hit Bristol Rovers teammate as fundraiser smashes target

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Paul Coutts, the former Sheffield United favourite, will lead his Bristol Rovers side in shaving their heads in a touching show of support for a teammate battling a rare form of bone cancer.

Defender Nick Anderton was diagnosed with bone cancer in July and had a successful operation to remove a tumour three months later. But further scans revealed aggressive cancerous cells remained in his body, and the 26-year-old is now undergoing intense chemotherapy.

To show their support for their teammate, captain Coutts and the rest of the Rovers squad are shaving their heads on January 16 - with 16 the shirt number worn by Anderton. A fundraising appeal for Anderton, set up with the target of £1,600, has raised almost 10 times that target, at the time of writing.

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Coutts said: "We’ve always been as one in support of Nick. In the blink of an eye, his world's been turned upside down and this is another way that we can help raise awareness of his condition and raise valuable funds for him and his young family at the same time.

"Some of us have less hair to lose than others and I’m sure Nick’s looking forward to seeing his mates and the gaffer without any!"

A statement from Rovers added: “The players will go bald on the 16th - Nick's shirt number - of this month at a Bristol hairdresser who supports rivals City and not Rovers; further proof that the footballing and city communities are coming together to offer their support.”

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