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Up-and-coming footballer lands in hospital with knee pain – now set to lose leg

A promising footballer saw his life turned upside down after a gunshot wound to his knee led to a devastating diagnosis. Two years ago, Jake Last was playing in goal for Burnley Under-14s Academy, earning the nickname ‘The Cat’ because he was so agile.

The devoted Manchester United fan had hoped for a life as a professional footballer – only for a heartbreaking diagnosis to mean he had to rethink his future. For tests after she started suffering with knee pain showed she had bone cancer.




And while it initially appeared the treatment was successful – with Jake even ringing the bell – the cancer returned, leaving the youngster to have his right leg amputated with surgery scheduled for next month. But the now 15-year-old, from Chadderton, Oldham, is already hoping for a future in football, potentially playing for amputee sides Manchester City or Everton – and even for England.

His father John, 54, said: “I don’t think you’ll ever get Jake out of football. He is an amazing boy. It was incredible.

“It’s strange to say, but he lives as if he never had the disease. The treatment (chemotherapy) was brutal. But he knows it has an effect on the cancer and helps to shrink it.”

Jake Last in action for Droyslden

Jake’s determination impressed both sides of Manchester football – City and United. United star Kobbie Mainoo, who shone in last weekend’s FA Cup final, sent him a video message telling the teenager: ‘Hi Jake, I’m Kobbie. I’m sorry to hear all you’re going through. Stay strong and I hope all goes well with the surgery.”

A friend of his family, who is a City fan, donated a framed, signed shirt worn by City goalkeeper Ederson, which was auctioned off to raise money to help Jake’s family through their hard times. You can donate here.

John told how the family’s nightmare began when Jake said he had a puncture in his knee. He said: “He was playing for Burnley under-14s and picked up an ankle injury and was on crutches for six weeks. We thought the knee pain was just because he was on crutches for so long.”

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