After his father died of throat cancer last summer Jermain Defoe paid a visit to the Royal Marsden hospital to express his gratitude to staff.

Defoe’s 47-year-old dad was treated for throat cancer at the hospital’s base in Chelsea.

At his visit to the Sutton hospital on Monday, January 22, the Tottenham striker thanked staff who treated his dad and said they were very special people.

He said: “I tweeted about the staff after my dad died because they were very special people and I meant it from the bottom of my heart.

“The Royal Marsden is a fantastic hospital. I have always been aware of cancer but to witness it firsthand it was a shock.”

Defoe spent two hours at the hospital after travelling down from the team’s North London training ground.

He took part in a craft workshop with the youngsters and attended the launch of the hospital’s ten10 campaign.

He added: “I was here every day with my dad and saw the hard work of staff and the long hours they put in.

“It is very important to raise the £100 million pounds as you never know in life when you could be ill and need the Royal Marsden.

“It is important that the Royal Marsden can continue to put in the hard work and continue to save lives.”

To support The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity’s ten10 - a decade of innovation at The Royal Marsden visit: