Legendary Manchester United striker Andy Cole says he will be delighted to make it to age 50 after opening up about his ongoing health battle.
Cole, 48, has been self-isolating during the coronavirus pandemic and revealed the huge mental and physical toll that has taken.
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“I try not to look too far ahead and take it day by day,” said Cole, who underwent a life-saving kidney transplant in 2017.
“I remember I recently had one of my sombre days with my daughter, who has been unbelievable.
“She said to me ‘Dad, you’re going to live forever’. I’ll always remember that, because I kept saying to her ‘look, if I make 50, I’ll be happy’.
“I’m a year and a bit away from 50 and if I make it? Man, considering what I’ve been through, I’ll be made up.
“My biggest fear is that one day I wake up and my kidneys pack up. I don’t care about anything else, that’s my biggest fear.
“I’ve said to myself ‘if it packs up, how are you going to do it again, mentally? How are you going to go through it again?’ That’s my biggest fear.”
Cole revealed how his daily physical and psychological battles have been compounded by his need to shield during the coronavirus crisis and subsequent lockdown.
“It’s been really, really hard,” he said. “Last week was one of my toughest ones. The week before I had my daughter here, who’s been shielding as well.
“That was the first time I’d been able to socialise with someone for nine weeks, so that week made things a whole lot better for me.
“But this week, after she left, has been really tough.”
Cole was part of the United side that won the treble in 1999 under Sir Alex Ferguson.
He won the FA Community Shield with Arsenal in 1991 and the League Cup with Blackburn Rovers in 2002.
Also, after leaving United he played for their rivals Manchester City.