DEAN KEATES has backed Connor Jennings to show his fighting spirit and win his battle against a rare form of cancer.

Former Wrexham captain Jennings, who made over 100 appearances for the Reds and scored 23 goals in his two seasons at The Racecourse between 2014 and 2016, has had a tumour discovered in his upper arm.

The 29-year-old, now at National League rivals Stockport County, has low-grade chondroid sarcoma – a rare form of cancer – and treatment plans are being discussed with doctors.

He originally suffered a shoulder injury in training but after physio treatment did not work he was sent for an MRI scan, which revealed the tumour.

Keates played with Jennings during the 2014-15 campaign when Wrexham reached the FA Trophy final but lost on a penalty shoot-out to North Ferriby United after the game ended in a 3-3 draw.

And the Reds boss, who also signed Connor’s brother James - also plying his trade at Stockport - has wished his former team-mate all the best for the future.

“It is horrific news,” said Keates.

“I was a team-mate of Connor’s and we travelled in together for training for two years.

“I have got a great relationship with him and I have kept in touch with him.

“It got to the point where he used to dog-sit for me when I used to go on holiday with my family!

“Then I brought James into the club so I have got to know them as a family.

“What Connor has got around him is strong support from his family and a very close network.

“They are going to be difficult times that he is going to have to face but knowing Connor, he will meet in head on and come through it; I wish him the best and a speedy recovery from it all.”