ANTHONY FORDE has opened up in detail a year on from his fiancee Laura’s devastating brain tumour diagnosis that came just two weeks after their son Paddy was born.

Speaking on Talking Transitions podcast to fellow footballer Jon Taylor and ex-footballer Andrai Jones, Forde reflected on how he first learned of Laura’s brain tumour whilst away with Wrexham for an away game in February 2023.

Twelve months on from this devastating time, the 30-year-old explained: “Laura rang me when we got to the hotel and said it is a brain tumour and I’ve got to see the neurosurgeon on Monday.”

The neurosurgeon had explained that Laura’s tumour was inoperable.

Just months before, Forde had discovered his brother Kevin had leukaemia.

Forde added that to try to process the news, he took himself off for a walk when fellow Wrexham star Paul Mullin followed him to see what was wrong.

News spread to the manager Phil Parkinson and subsequently the club’s owners Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney who told the father-of-one to go home and be with his family.

Forde continued: “We were trying to be as positive as we could until we spoke to the neurosurgeon but then we got the worst news possible.

"We went back to Ireland to see family after we got the bad news - they hadn’t met Paddy at this point and Laura didn’t know if it would be her last time going home. It was just a crazy time.”

During this time, Forde would wake up crying in the middle of the night as he worried about his fiancee’s health.

On his return to Wrexham, Reynolds contacted Forde to say he’d heard the news about Laura. Forde explained: “He said can I please help you get a second opinion.”

Anthony and Laura shared her MRI results with a doctor in New York who wasn’t convinced her diagnosis was correct. She underwent a biopsy that revealed her tumour to be a grade 1 Thalamic pilocytic astrocytoma - a benign brain tumour.


Forde continued: “It was the longest wait for the biopsy results but we had hope that it wasn’t going to be what they’d originally said it was.

"Thanks to the owners, I just don’t think I’d have got that help anywhere else - they were amazing. They’re genuinely good people who have a good heart and me and my family and friends will always be so grateful.”

Following the biopsy and second opinion, Laura was given the great news that her tumour was low grade and not cancerous - ‘the best possible outcome’, Forde says.

“She’ll have follow up MRIs for the next six months to hopefully see no change. From where we were to where we are now, we’re just so lucky.”