Fans and ex-teammates have been touched by the courage of former top-flight Wednesday player Klas Ingesson.
He is battling on as manager of Swedish Cup winners Elfsborg despite being in a wheelchair and suffering from bone marrow cancer.
Ingesson played for the Owls in the mid-90s when they were in the Premier League and has 57 Sweden caps.
Former Wednesday keeper Kevin Pressman told The Star that Klas’s tenacity reflects the character he showed in his playing days.
Ingesson, aged 45, also missed Elfsborg’s Cup Final win on Sunday because of a thigh fracture suffered in a fall from his wheelchair at a league game.
But he is vowing to be back again and has been fighting the cancer for five years.
Pressman. now Millwall’s goalkeeping coach, said: “My thoughts are with him. He was a good bloke: determined, single-minded and professional, as was Roland Nilsson (the Owls’ Swedish right-back).
“The way Klas is now as a person, that’s how he was when he was a player. You learned from the strength of character of him and Roland.”
Fans have been paying tribute to Ingesson on social media. “Unbelievable courage from Klass Ingesson, what an inspiration, hats off to you fella,” wrote Dave Mee.
“How terrible. I can believe his battle against cancer. Always gave 100 per cent at SWFC,” said Declan Doyle. “A remarkable story,” Chris Leek tweeted.
Ingesson, who has suffered pain in various parts of his body, has told his players that he does not want any sympathy, and said in an open letter published on Elfsborg’s website:
“Physically and mentally I don’t have a problem to do my job. It is every person’s right to be judged by who you are and what you do – not because you have an illness or a handicap.”
Ingesson was signed by Wednesday from PSV Eindhoven for £800,000 and made 21 appearances for the club, After being sold for £1m he played in Italy’s Serie A, first for Bari then for Bologna, and became a £3m buy for Marseille.
Elfsborg dedicated their Cup final win to him.