Celtic legend John Hartson remains in critical condition in a Welsh hospital after surgery to combat the testicular cancer which has now spread to his brain and his lungs.
The 34-year-old former Parkhead striker is reported to be “critical but stable” after surgery. Celtic manager Tony Mowbray and cycling legend Lance Armstrong have both offered Hartson their support.
Mowbray lost his wife Bernadette to cancer when he was a Celtic player in the 1990s and said, “The force of the Celtic family behind you becomes very evident at times of adversity.
“I felt it a lot of years ago when I was at this football club. Hopefully, in what is his recovery period back to good health, he will feel the warmth of the Celtic family behind him.
“I had the pleasure of working with him for a couple of years at West Brom. While it was a difficult time for John with his fitness levels, I felt we developed an honest relationship between a manager and a player and I think there was mutual respect of what each other was going through.
“I can only wish him the best because the bottom line is he is a good man, his heart is in the right place. Whatever John Hartson has been through in life, the highs and the lows in his football career, he is a good person and we wish him well and our thoughts and prayers are with him and the people who love him.
“We speculate about the future of football matches but let’s hope John has a long and healthy future ahead of him and he overcomes the battle he faces at the moment.”
Cancer survivor Armstrong, writing on his Twitter site, also wished Hartson well and said, “My thoughts go out to John Hartson. Livestrong, John! We’re pulling for you! Folks, hold him in your thoughts and prayers please.”
Dinamo Moscow will provide the opposition for Celtic in the third round of qualifying for the Champions League, with the Bhoys at home for next week’s first leg.
“It was always going to be what it was going to be,” Hoops boss Mowbray said after the draw. “We are happy to take whoever it was and I don’t have any preferences in cup draws.
“We are not in the industry of making excuses. They are 13 games into their season and I’m sure they will be a quality side. Russian teams are very fit, methodical and organized and I’m sure they will give us a tough test but I’m sure they are looking at the draw and thinking it is a big ask for them
“In a strange sort of way, while you would like to play the second game of the tie at home, after the traveling we have done it is a benefit that we will be at home first.”
Celtic have taken the 26-year-old Le Havre striker Amadou Alassane on trial.