But resort favourite tells The Gazette: ‘I’ll beat this illness’
Blackpool singing star Joe Longthorne today revealed he is facing a second battle with cancer.
The 58-year-old resort favourite has been diagnosed with throat cancer and will begin treatment in the next few days.
It is the latest cancer scare for the star who regularly packs venues with his loyal army of fans.
Joe battled back from leukaemia in 2006.
But despite the new set-back, the ever-popular entertainer today vowed to beat the illness – and said he hopes to play as many shows as he can on his current tour.
Joe said: “I was completely and utterly shocked at being given the news about having to have treatment for throat cancer. However, I am 100 per cent positive.
“I’ve been here before, so here we go, round two coming up. You have two choices on being given news like this, you can stay down or get up and fight.
“I’ve always chosen to fight and fight on I will. I’ve beaten it before and will do so again.
“There are always people much worse of than yourself so it’s important to keep focused at this time.”
“I have the most wonderful family one could ever have, some very dear friends and the best fans anyone could ever wish for. I have had their love and total support all through my life and they have and always will be there for me.
“I would like to say to my fans at this time to think of my charities and give their support if they can. After receiving the MBE in 2012 I have given much more time and attention to helping others and I would like to ask my fans to do this too and they will be helping me on the way. We are like one big family these days as I like it.
“Obviously with being a vocalist I am taking each day one day at a time and will remain positive and resolute about the outcome, I am a Catholic and have my faith and deep belief in Jesus Christ, he has seen me through before and he will be there for me this time.”
He is booked to play 74 shows this year, with concerts at the London Palladium including a 60th birthday show there next year and a series of shows at his hometown venue Viva.
These start this weekend with a special “Midnight Matinee” show on Saturday into the early hours of Sunday and also include a show for his birthday on May 31.
The show is a charity event and proceeds will go towards three good causes including to help the work of Dr Paul Kelsey, the Consultant Haematologist at Blackpool’s Victoria Hospital who heads the team which provides such wonderful care and treatment to local people affected by cancer.
Joe’s manager and partner Jamie Moran said: “Joe had found a lump in his throat and went to the doctor.
“He had some tests done including a biopsy and we got the results back today.
“He has had leukaemia and underwent a bone marrow transplant so he knows what to expect from the treatment.
“He has beaten it once so he can do it again. The medical team at Blakcpool Victoria have been great with him.They have looked after him brilliantly, the specialist even comes round to his house.
“He will be starting the treatment after the bank holiday so he will be performing all the shows until then.
“After that he will be taking it day by day. If the treatment allows and he feels well enough, he will perform.”
He said the treatment will take the form of surgery at first and then radiotherapy to reduce the cancer.
“He is in a bit of a daze as you can imagine, but he is still confident he can beat this just like he did last time.
“He could not be in a better place than Blackpool for his treatment. They will really look after him.”
Joe’s agent, well known showbiz personality Eric Hall, said the news had come as a big blow.
He said: “I have been a friend of Joe’s for more than 20 years and he is a great man, a lovely man. I have worked with the likes of the Beatles, Queen, Cliff Richard and even the Sex Pistols, but I can say that in my opinion Joe Longthorne is the best male vocalist we have in the country today.
“He has beaten cancer before and he can beat it again and we will do everything to support him until he is better.”
Joe was diagnosed with Lymphoma at the end sof the 80s which then developed into leukaemia. Joe underwent a bone marrow transplant in 2006 and made a full recovery.