Ikeme Opens Up on Mental Journey from Beating Cancer


After being forced to retire from football following the diagnosis revealing he had leukemia in 2017, former Wolves and Nigerian goalkeeper Carl Ikeme said that switching to mixed martial arts gave him a “purpose” to train once more.

Ikeme made 207 appearances in his pent 15 years with Wolves, but says he is only just enjoying football again.


“A part of my recovery was to get back in the gym, I’d lost three stone at one point. I was extremely unhealthy coming out of cancer treatment. I think what the arts and especially Brazilian jiu-jitsu gave me was a purpose to train again.”

When asked about life after the therapy, he shared a hopeful thought.

“I’ve come to terms with life after football, I’ve started to enjoy football a little bit more. When I first come out I wasn’t really interested in watching it too much but I’ve been to quite a few Wolves games this season. It’s good.”

“I love family life, obviously doing all the arts, working. I’m always trying to strive for balance and never quite get it right but that’s my new life now really. Just enjoying football as a fan.”


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