London: Former Chelsea and Arsenal playmaker Alan Hudson, who almost lost his life 17 years ago when he was hit by a car, has been diagnosed with prostate cancer.
The 63-year-old ex-England international went straight to his doctor after only becoming aware of a health issue two weeks ago and is glad he took immediate action.
"It was lucky I went straight to see my GP," Hudson told Reuters in an interview on Friday. "It was one of those things that could have carried on and on.
"When I told my friend over the phone that I had prostate cancer I thought, `Well, I`ve had everything else, why not this too?`."
Hudson was one of the finest midfield artists of his generation and a return of two England caps offers scant evidence of his high-class pedigree.
He helped Chelsea win the FA Cup in 1970 and the European Cup Winners` Cup a year later before going on to play for Arsenal, Stoke City and Seattle Sounders.
After debutant Hudson stole the show in a 2-0 victory over world champions West Germany at Wembley in 1975, visiting coach Helmut Schoen said: "At last England have found a replacement for Bobby Charlton".
Guenther Netzer, Germany`s great midfield playmaker, added: "Where have England been hiding this player? He was world class".
Those days are just a memory for Hudson but he believes the high level of fitness he achieved during his football career was the reason he cheated death in 1997 when he was left in a coma for two months.
"The doctors said I had died once or twice, then they said I would never walk again, but I told them I would," said Hudson who has been in the operating theatre more than 70 times in the last 17 years.
"People don`t really understand what I`ve been through. This is a new life of being disabled and I have had to come to terms with that and live with it," he added, referring to the accident he was involved in as a pedestrian on a London street.
"I`m not dramatising things but my playing and training saved my life. I trained every day right up to the day the car hit me," said Hudson.
"I had a three-hour session - two hours on the bike and about 2,000 sit-ups that very morning - and I think that sort of daily regime helped in my recovery."
Hudson now faces a new daily regime to fight his cancer.
"My old Stoke team mates Jimmy Greenhoff, Terry Conroy and Brendan O`Callaghan have already been on the phone," he said. "They wish me all the best but what can they do?".
Hudson is a wordsmith these days. He is the author of several books and is proud of the fact they are all his own work, achieved without the aid of a ghost writer.
His eBook `From The Playing Fields To The Killing Fields` is a straight-talking account of his life.
Hudson has been advised by a specialist to have an injection that will reduce his tumour before undergoing two months of intense radiotherapy.
He said he knew he had a problem before he went to see his GP but now he seems more concerned with making sure the diagnosis he has received is confirmed by another specialist.
"I don`t want people to feel sorry for me," explained Hudson. "I just want to make sure I get a second opinion so that I am doubly sure in my own mind what I have got.
"The first thing I thought when I heard the diagnosis was, `Here we go, I`ve got another fight on my hands`."