United chairman Andrew Jenkins has spoken on behalf of everybody at the club this morning following the news that former captain Nick Anderton has been diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer.
Anderton, 26, revealed yesterday that he is suffering from osteosarcoma and that he’s set to undergo surgery to remove the affected area in his leg.
“The thing that stood out with Nick when he was with us is that he’s as professional as he can be in everything he does,” Mr Jenkins said.
“He was passionate about the club and the team, and I remember Chris [Beech] telling me that Nick had gone out of his way to ask about the captaincy, and to explain what he wanted to bring to the dressing room.
“He led by example and even as a relatively young skipper he commanded the respect of the dressing room, with his diligent approach and his setting of standards.
“Knowing him as we do, we know there is no doubt he’ll set about this challenge with the same level of determination and focus that he has with everything he does.
“It goes without saying that he has the support of everybody here at Brunton Park, and that our best wishes are with him and his family.
“He earned the right to be part of our football family with the way he captained our dressing room, and I hope that the genuine and heartfelt support he has already received will mean a lot to him.”
In his statement, released on social media and via his parent club, Nick said: "Unfortunately, this rare form of cancer which is affecting my femur means that I’ll be undergoing an operation in the coming weeks.
"This diagnosis has come as a huge shock to both myself and my family; however, we are remaining positive and hopeful.
"I want to thank everyone at Bristol Rovers, especially club doctor Ian Ferguson and head of medical Stuart Leake, the specialists at the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital in Birmingham and my family for their continued support.
"I want to wish the boys all the best for the upcoming season, starting this Saturday back at The Mem. Hopefully I can be swinging off another traffic light on Gloucester Road come May! [a reference to last season's promotion celebrations].
Nick netted four goals in 54 outings for the Blues during his 18-month stay at the club.