Soccer stars support Saints Academy player against leukemia


A YOUNG Saints player has received support and messages from some of the biggest names in world football after being diagnosed with leukemia.

Based in Rownhams, Keanu Black was 12 when he was hospitalized.

The Southampton FC goalkeeper was two days away from signing a new contract with the club he backs but had to stop playing as he started treatment.

His father, James Black, described the diagnosis as a “huge shock” with Kianu having to undergo four episodes of chemotherapy, 60 blood transfusions and more than 100 injections on the road to recovery.

But now, after recovering from illness and starting playing football again, thanks have been returned to some of the biggest names in the sport who have supported him during this difficult time.

Southampton’s game against Man City last season with a message of recovery for Keanu Black.

During his treatment, jerseys were sent by several footballers to boost Keanu’s morale, including Chelsea’s Mason Mount, Everton goalkeeper, Jordan Pickford and Man City’s Raheem Sterling.

During Southampton’s home game against Manchester City a message stating ‘Get well soon’ was displayed on screen at St Mary’s, James-Ward Prowse and Danny Ings visited the home and manager Ralf Hassenhuttl also signed a warm-up jersey for him.

Messages were sent by Keanu’s teammates with Dutch football legend Marco Van Basten even sending a photo of him holding a “Stay Strong” message.

Now a father, James said the support “means a lot” adding “It goes a long way when the footballers he too aspires to make contact, which is lovely.

“I don’t think you really enjoy any of the posts until later because you are so numb with the initial diagnosis, the posts probably aren’t as appreciated as if you were having a sane thought at the time.

“He was very sick and it was probably only after a few months of treatment and he was able to start to feel a little better until you really enjoyed the messages passing through.”

Daily Echo: Keanu Black holding a shirt donated by Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford.Keanu Black holding a shirt donated by Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford.

Eastleigh FC is now said to be planning a children’s charity match next June against former Saints players for Kianu, who has now been leukemia free for 12 months.

James added: “It’s fantastic, it’s something I wasn’t sure would happen, so seeing him kick a ball in practice and in games.

“It opens your eyes to how lucky you are. As a parent you focus too much on the child and what will end up when in fact you probably need to enjoy a little more. from here and now. ”


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