David Brooks insists he ‘always aspired’ to return to football after making his Bournemouth comeback
David Brooks insists he ‘always aspired’ to return to football after battling cancer to make his first Bournemouth appearance in 536 days against Aston Villa… with the winger now desperate to help Gary O’Neil’s men to avoid falling.
- David Brooks was diagnosed with stage 2 Hodgkin lymphoma in October 2021
- He made his first appearance for Bournemouth in 536 days against Aston Villa.
- Brooks insisted that he was delighted to be playing again after such a difficult time.
David Brooks insisted that he never doubted that he would play football again, after his first appearance for Bournemouth since October 2021, when he was diagnosed with stage 2 Hodgkin’s lymphoma. In May 2022, he was given the all-clear.
“I’ve always aspired to come back since the diagnosis,” said the 25-year-old. “Watching from the bench last year to return to the Premier League was difficult.
“You want to be a part of these things and I want to do everything I can to help Bournemouth stay awake,” Brooks added.
The Welshman received a round of applause from all four corners of Villa Park when he came on for Adam Smith on 79 minutes for his first appearance in 534 days and while he couldn’t help Bournemouth save anything from the game, Brooks revealed that it was a moment. Emotional for him and his family.
‘It’s a bit of a strange emotion. I didn’t impact the game the way I wanted to, but on a personal note, the last 18 months have been a very difficult time. To come back and be a part of the team again was nice,” Brooks said.
David Brooks made his first appearance in 536 days for Bournemouth after battling cancer
Cherries boss Gary O’Neil insisted he was “delighted” to see Brooks back on the pitch.
‘I am grateful to everyone who has supported me over time. I would like to thank the Villa fans, even when I was warming up they were saying nice things and giving me a round of applause.
Brooks also explained how he felt the 0-3 scoreline was hard on the Cherries following their performance at Villa Park.
He added: ‘After his first goal we had a bit of pressure and after the first 20 minutes I thought we were the better team until 60-70 minutes.
‘We had chances and Dom was getting behind and I thought he felt like the goal was coming.
‘His second goal took our breath away and we didn’t break down, but it’s hard when you have so many attackers chasing play to maintain your defensive discipline. The two goals at the end were a bit cheap.
Bournemouth manager Gary O’Neil detailed that Brooks will spend the international break, playing for the Under 21s and focusing on improving his fitness so that he can be available for longer.
‘Yes (it’s a new chapter), I’m happy for David. He’s been on a really difficult journey with his family. He has worked hard to get to where he is right now and obviously we have to be sensible with his minutes,” O’Neil said.
Brooks also thanked the Bournemouth and Aston Villa fans for the welcome he received.