In the Blood

The Grecian grabs an exclusive interview with Chris Todd

When Chris Todd was diagnosed with leukaemia in 2008, it had the rare effect of uniting the affections of fans across Devon.

City’s skipper had left St James Park for neighbours Torquay during the summer of 2007, linking up with his former City man Paul Buckle at Plainmoor.  But when it was announced that he had chronic myeloid leukaemia, even the most slighted of Exeter fans were praying for a full and speedy recovery.

But his medical treatment had its effect – boosted, no doubt, by his incredibly positive attitude towards life – and now he’s fit and well again, and enjoying whatever each day throws at him.  It may seem strange to think of someone once diagnosed with cancer as being ‘lucky’, but that’s precisely the way he interpreted it on the road to recovery.

“When I had the news, it put a lot of things into perspective and changed every aspect of my life,” says Chris.  “Suddenly everything outside of football meant a lot more. 

“I’d had a bit of an injury in pre-season – I’d always been a good runner, but for some reason I was struggling with a bit of a groin injury.  So I had a small operation and I thought, ‘right, that’s fixed’ – but when the nurse took the needle out of my hand, and it just started pouring with blood.  She said that I should probably go and get a blood test, but I thought, ‘nah, I’m fit and healthy,’ and being a typical man I didn’t bother.  

“I tried to carry on as normal to get back to training and to return to fitness.  But then about two weeks later I’d just parked up at work, and I blacked out – and I thought about what the nurse had said, so I went for a test with the club doctor after training, and a few hours later I got the call that changed my life.”

Grab a copy of matchday programme The Grecian this evening for the full interview with ex-City and Torquay man Toddy, where he talks about his time with both clubs, his battle to overcome leukaemia, and why he is now loving life on and off the pitch.  Toddy will be in attendance tonight, and will be conducting our 50/50 Draw at half-time.

The programme will be on sale around the ground before kick-off as usual – and if you miss your copy, you can grab a digital edition by via Matchday Digital on iPad and iPhone.

And don’t forget to get hold of Toddy’s book, ‘More Than Football in the Blood’