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Wolves goalkeeper beats Leukemia, retires from soccer

Brighton & Hove Albion v Wolverhampton Wanderers - Sky Bet Championship

BRIGHTON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 18: Carl Ikeme of Wolves shouts instructions during the Sky Bet Championship match between Brighton & Hove Albion and Wolverhampton Wanderers at Amex Stadium on October 18, 2016 in Brighton, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

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After beating cancer, Carl Ikeme is taking his doctors advice and retiring from the game he loves.

The English-born, Nigeria international announced Friday he was retiring from action, 18 years after signing his first professional contract at Wolverhampton. Although he spent many seasons on loan with different clubs throughout England, Ikeme always remained a member of the Wolverhampton family - and payroll.

Ikeme made more than 200 appearances for Wolverhampton in his career, including one Premier League appearance during the 2011-2012 season, Wolverhampton’s last in the Premier League before achieving promotion.

“I spoke with the doctor and he suggested I should retire, because of the toll the treatment has taken on my body. He thinks it’s what is best for me and I can’t really risk trying to come back, my health is the priority,” Ikeme said. “I want to be here for my children, family and friends. In the grand scheme of things with my life in danger, it’s the minimum price I have to pay to spend the rest of my time with my family.”

The 32-year-old appeared 10 times for his father’s birth nation of Nigeria, and could have been a part of the World Cup squad in 2018 had it not been for a scary diagnosis 12 months ago. In July 2017, doctors diagnosed Ikeme with acute leukemia. After a 12-month battle, thankfully the cancer is in complete remission.

Many of Ikeme’s current and former teammates have taken time to praise Ikeme’s career, as well as other members of the goalkeeper’s union.