Max Taylor is a true inspiration. As a footballer, the Man Utd youngster aims to show other sufferers that it is possible to dream and he is on the cusp of making his debut for the biggest club in the world — at the end of a year that started with chemotherapy.
The 19-year-old has been included in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s young squad that travelled to Kazakhstan on Tuesday to face FK Astana. That puts Taylor in with a chance of making his senior debut and what a way that would be to end what has been a challenging year in his young life.
It would be one of the sporting stories of the year should Taylor make his debut on Thursday.
He’s been at United since 2014 but the defender’s development took a hit last year when diagnosed with testicular cancer. As most of us can only imagine, Taylor had to worry about surgery and chemotherapy rather than enjoying his football.
“I always had a mindset of that there’s no way I’m not going to be alive after this,” Taylor told the PA news agency (via The Telegraph).
“But there were times where I thought ‘will I be able to play football after this?’ And there were times where I thought there’s no way I can get back to that.
“But I think the message that I want to get out to everyone is it is possible — and it is possible to do more than what I’ve done after you’ve gone through such trauma.
“It is possible to get back wherever you want to go.”
Taylor does not want to be defined by his battle with cancer and rightly so. He’s a young footballer at Manchester United — after making the first team squad for an upcoming Europa League fixture — and has the world at his feet.
Moreover, he wants to be remembered for raising money and helping others.
“There’s a lot of people out there who think, like I did, that people only remember them for having cancer,” Taylor added. “They’d be like ‘ah, that’s what you’ve done, you’re amazing to get out of that.’
“But I think the message is that you can be more than that — and I want to be more than that.
“Yeah, it’s a part of me and I’m not going to hide from it. But that’s what it is: it’s a part of me, it doesn’t define me.
“The cancer is something that has happened, hut it’s not going to be what people remember me for.
“I don’t just want to be a footballer; I want to be someone who people look up to in terms of raising money and helping others.”
Cancer survivor @maxtaylor00 is comfortably the most inspiring person I’ve spoken to during my time as a sports journalist. Privilege to sit down with the #MUFC defender last week. Interview on @PA now pic.twitter.com/Rc8JinmCda
— Simon Peach (@SimonPeach) November 27, 2019
We’d like to congratulate Taylor on making the squad for tomorrow’s game. All of our fingers are crossed with the prospect of him making his United debut!
“All you’re thinking is this is serious, this could end my life”
Manchester United defender Max Taylor opens up on his battle with testicular cancer.
— BBC RM Sport (@BBCRMsport) November 27, 2019