Former Gloucester Rugby and now London Irish hooker, Darren Dawidiuk took to twitter to say he was ‘overwhelmed’ by the support shown by all at Kingsholm after he announced last week that he is battling with testicular cancer.
Dawidiuk played at Gloucester for eight years and amassed a total of 144 appearances scoring 7 times for the Cherry and Whites before heading to London Irish this summer.
He still lives in Gloucester, in the Longlevens area and has recently opened a small gym called, “Dukebox Gym” after he converted his garage into a workout area that is available to the public.
Both Gloucester and London Irish warmed up in ‘Oddballs’ t-shirt that sported the number two and Dawidiuk’s nickname ‘Dukey’ on the back ahead of their Anglo-Welsh Cup on Saturday.
The Cherry and Whites joined forces with the charity ‘Oddballs’ for the day selling their merchandise around Kingsholm to the supporters who came to watch. Oddballs is a charity and clothing brand that is set up to raise money and awareness for testicular cancer.
Their partnership for the day was deemed a success as fans around the ground were seen wearing the merchandise and took to social media to show their support for the cause.
Gloucester Rugby CEO Stephen Vaughan has spoken out about the unfortunate situation Dawidiuk finds himself in and said: “No-one here at Gloucester Rugby had a bad word to say about Dukey [Dawidiuk] during his time with the club.
“He was, quite simply, one of the most popular characters in the squad and everyone was concerned when we heard the news. It goes without saying that he has our full support as he continues his treatment and hope that he makes a full recovery.”
Gloucester were victorious over their opponents London Irish in the Anglo-Welsh Cup winning 47-7 at Kingsholm, putting them in a good position in the hunt for top spot in their group.
Attention for Ackermann and his side will now turn to champions Saracens who they welcome to Kingsholm on Friday in the Aviva Premiership.
If you wish to find out more information regarding testicular cancer then please follow: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/testicular-cancer/