Ajax Players Give Standing Ovation to Opposition Striker on Return to Pitch Since Cancer Diagnosis

Ajax Players Give Standing Ovation to Opposition Striker on Return to Pitch Since Cancer Diagnosis

Rene Otinga
updated at April 12, 2023 at 7:54 PM
  • Ajax were 9-0 victors over third-tier Excelsior Massluis in the Dutch Cup
  • There was however a beautiful moment in the game as both sets of players gave striker Devin Plank a standing ovation
  • The striker recently made a comeback onto the pitch after a battle with a cancerous tumour in his fibula
  • The Thursday night game was his first since being diagnosed

There was a beautiful football moment on Thursday, January 20 as Ajax players came together with third-tier side Excelsior Massluis to welcome back youngster Devin Plank onto the pitch after harrowing cancer treatment.

Devin Plank
Ajax were 9-0 victors over third tier Excelsior Massluis in the Dutch Cup
Source: UGC

Plank was diagnosed with a tumour in his fibula in 2021 and had to shelf his football career to get urgent treatment.

Months after his treatment the youngster was in his team’s squad for the Dutch Cup and he was brought on late in the game.

With Ajax comprehensively winning the game, both sets of players took time to give Plank a standing ovation as he made his way onto the pitch in a remarkable welcome back to football.

Ajax eventually went on to record a 9-0 victory.

The 20-year old was diagnosed with the condition in 2021 after going to hospital with persistent pain in his legs.

Doctors found that he had a malignant tumour and he has been in chemotherapy since last year.

When Exelsior Massluis found out they had been drawn against Ajax, the club deemed it the perfect opportunity to welcome back Plank, whose doctors advised him to take up a maximum of two minutes of game time as he continues his recovery.

Speaking to ESPN after the game, Plank said despite only appearing for a couple of minutes, it was an “unforgettable moment”.

“I am very happy to have returned to the pitch, even though it was a short time,” he said.

Lindelof to miss West Ham game to be with family

In other news, Manchester United defender Victor Lindelof will be absent for the Saturday game against West Ham.

Lindelof’s family was recently subjected to a harrowing experience after their family home was raided and burgled.

Maja, Lindelof’s wife, took to Instagram to make public the harrowing ordeal.

In her Instagram page, she wrote:

"During Victor's game this Wednesday night we had a break-in at our house in Manchester. I was home alone with both the kids but we managed to hide and lock ourselves in a room before they entered our house.

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Rene Otinga
Rene Otinga is a sports journalist with over eight years of working experience in digital media. Rene's experience includes working as a Copywriter at X News Kenya and TUKO.co.ke.