Heartwarming moment 20-year-old footballer who is battling cancer is given guard of honour by both sets of players

DUTCH footballer Devin Plank, who was diagnosed with cancer one year ago, received a guard of honour when he came on against Ajax on Wednesday night.

The 20-year-old forward, who plays for third tier side Excelsior Maassluis, discovered he had a cancerous tumor in his fibula after reporting discomfort in his calf.

But he has now made his return to football in a cup match against Eredivisie champions Ajax, coming off the bench in the 89th minute.

And Plank was thrilled to have received such a special guard of honour.

He said: "I am very happy to have returned to the field, although it was a short time.

"It was an unforgettable moment, perhaps one of the best of my life."

He then went on to add: "We had already made four changes and I thought I was not going to enter.

"Fortunately, the coach did not forget me. Only now do I realise this gesture."

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Plank now hopes to continue his gradual recovery and play as much football as possible.

The young Dutch player said: "I'm working on it every day to get back.

"I hope to get a lot of minutes back as soon as possible."

Ajax won the game 9-0 to reach the next round of the KNVB Cup as they look to defend the trophy they won last year.

Ajax have won the cup 20 times – seven more than any either Dutch side.

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