November 2018: Manchester United’s young midfielder Max Taylor diagnosed with testicular cancer… May 2020: Signs a new contract at Old Trafford after gruelling chemotherapy beat the disease
- Taylor will be staying with United for next season after agreeing one year deal
- 20-year-old defender had been out on loan at Stalybridge in recent months
- He was diagnosed with testicular cancer back in November 2018
- Taylor underwent nine weeks of chemotherapy before receiving the all-clear
- He returned to action with United’s reserve side in September last year
- Taylor was part of the youthful United squad that travelled to Astana this season
Max Taylor has signed a new one-year contract extension at Manchester United just months after beating testicular cancer.
The 20-year-old defender, who has been with United since the age of 14, will be staying there for next season.
The youngster was diagnosed with cancer in November 2018 and began a nine-week course of chemotherapy to successfully beat the disease.
Defender Max Taylor, 20, has signed a one-year contract extension at Manchester United
The youngster overcame testicular cancer last year following nine weeks of chemotherapy
Taylor returned to training with United in September last year and featured six times for their under-23 team in Premier League 2.
He was named on the bench alongside a host of academy players for United’s UEFA Europa League match away to Astana in Kazakhstan last November.
Taylor also made an appearance for United’s under-21 side against Tranmere Rovers in the knockout stages of the Football League Trophy.
He had been sent out on loan to Northern Premier League outfit Stalybridge Celtic back in January and made nine appearances before the Covid-19 pandemic curtailed the season.
Taylor spoke candidly about his emotions after receiving his cancer diagnosis alongside his mum Stella and stepfather Matthew.
Taylor returned to the field after his cancer all-clear for United’s reserves last September
The defender was part of a youthful Manchester United squad that travelled to play Astana
He told the BBC: ‘It was surreal. We just looked at each other thinking: ‘Has he really just said that? That it is cancer? The specialist said the cells inside the testicle would have to be taken off.
‘My mum broke down straight away. I was so taken aback I didn’t cry. I got out of the clinic and thought: ‘Oh my God’.
‘You hear the word cancer. My mind was running 100mph. ‘What will happen? What’s next? Will I play football again? Will I be alive? It repeated in my head, over and over.’
Told the cancer had spread to his abdomen, Taylor needed to undergo an intense course of chemotherapy to stop it developing further.
Recalling the experience, he said: ‘The chemo I was having was quite toxic. The first night was the worst. You’re up, shaking and sweating, but you feel freezing cold.
‘Then the sickness starts. That first night I realised it was going to be a hard nine weeks.’
Taylor in action for United’s under-23 side against Sunderland at Old Trafford last November
Six weeks after his course of chemotherapy, Taylor received the good news in February last year that the cancer had cleared but still required surgery because his lymph nodes were swollen and one was attached to the main blood vessel.
He said it took three months ‘before I started to feel right’ after the operation.
Jose Mourinho was United’s manager at the time and spoke of Taylor when he was called into the squad for the Europa League game.
‘It was a big shock for everybody at the club at the time,’ he said. ‘Very sweet kid and a fantastic young professional.
‘The first one to motivate everyone at United was him. He was the one that motivated all of us.
‘Lots of people, including myself, had to hide tears when we knew. He was the one that was ready for the fight.
‘It’s amazing news for the club and for everyone connected to him. He has already won the biggest match of his career.
‘It’s an amazing story and an inspiration for young people.’