Former Luton Town player and manager Mick Harford has been diagnosed with prostate cancer and is undergoing treatment, the club have revealed.
Harford, who is currently the Championship’s deputy director, was first diagnosed in December 2020. The 62-year-old is now taking a step back from his daily chores and will begin a course of radiation therapy in mid-August.
“We are sorry to inform supporters that Mick Harford is currently fighting prostate cancer,” said a club statement. “As you would expect from a man who has fought so many battles in five glorious decades in football, this is not the one Mick is supporting.
“He has continued to perform his duties with the same commitment and determination that he has always shown in every role he has held at Kenilworth Road. It doesn’t need to be said, but everyone gives their love and best wishes to Big Mick – who will be supported by his Luton Town family every step of the way.
“What I want is to educate and encourage other men to go for a test,” Harford said. “That’s what I did and it’s not something we middle aged and older men are good at. We don’t like to talk about illness or go to the doctor … especially in the current climate with the Covid.
“It’s so vital not to think like that. The first symptoms of prostate cancer are not always noticeable, which is why it is so important to see a general practitioner and get checked out,” he said. he added. “I know a few people at the club who have been doing this since I was first diagnosed, and if our wonderful supporters can do one thing for me, it’s do it exactly, because a early diagnosis is so crucial.
“I’m really happy with the treatment I’m getting,” Harford concluded. “It will be a long trip, which means I won’t be there on the training ground every day, which as everyone knows is what I love to do.”
Harford has scored 92 goals in 217 appearances in two stints at Luton, the culmination of a 20-year playing career that has also included Lincoln, Birmingham City, Derby, Chelsea and Wimbledon, among others. The forward also won two England caps in 1988, the same year he helped Luton win the League Cup by beating Arsenal in the final.
As manager, Harford won the EFL Trophy on his first stint at Luton in 2009, before returning to the job in 2019 after Nathan Jones left for Stoke. He led the Hatters to the title and promotion of League One before retiring at the end of the season.