Everton Academy coach Kevin Sheedy has been diagnosed with bowel cancer.
Sheedy, who was an integral part of the all-conquering Everton team of the mid-80s, will undergo surgery later this week.
The Blues legend will be away from Finch Farm for a period of time as he recovers from the operation.
The popular Irish international played 369 times for Everton, scoring 97 goals, and he is in good spirits as he faces up to his toughest opponent yet.
“It’s not ideal but I have to remain positive,” he said. “There is a history in the family.”
Kevin also urged anyone with any concerns for their own health to act quickly.
“It’s so important that people don’t ignore the early signs and symptoms and don’t be afraid to consult a GP,” he said. “After a period of rehabilitation I will return to my coaching role at Everton.”
The club has established an email address for supporters to send their messages to Kevin.
Email Sheeds@evertonfc.com and all messages will be passed to Kevin.