A POPULAR Reds fan battling cancer made an emotional return to the Racecourse for Wrexham’s first home game of the season – and got the biggest cheer of the night.
Legendary Kop singer Ian ‘Jacko’ Edwards, 51, from Acrefair, had never missed a game at the Racecourse until he was diagnosed with throat cancer a year ago.
On Tuesday night, following his recovery, he attended his first competitive game since his diagnosis.
Despite the Reds’ 3-0 defeat by Gateshead, Jacko said he was left “buzzing” with the reception he received when his name was mentioned by the stadium announcer at half-time.
He said: “It’s been tough getting back. It feels like it’s been been a long time.
“Before, I’d only ever missed a couple of games in my life, so to miss all that has been difficult.
“To go back and see all my old friends after a year away was quite emotional. It was like coming ‘home’.
“I wouldn’t say it was like I’d never been away, but after everything I’ve been through in the last 12 months, I’ve had some dark, dark days.”
Jacko, a self-employed carpenter and joiner from Acrefair, had chemotherapy treatment after the cancer was diagnosed a year ago.
He had to quit the Fron Male Voice Choir, where he was a first tenor for many years, and quit his job to focus on the treatment.
But now he is well on the mend.
“I had a check-up on the day of the game and everything is going fine,” he added.
“I was sitting with my mates in the Glyndwr University stand behind the goal, and although the Kop will always be my preferred place, there were moments when the crowd got a great atmosphere going and it reminded me of old times.”
Jacko added that it would still be some time until he’s leading the singing again.
He said: “I’m not back to singing myself yet but, despite the result, I felt great afterwards, the adrenalin was going and I was buzzing.
“I was a bit tired afterwards though.
“Even though we lost, I’m still optimistic about this season, and can’t wait for the Nuneaton game on Saturday.”