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Former West Brom and Walsall midfielder Craig Shakespeare diagnosed with cancer

Former Walsall and Albion midfielder Craig Shakespeare has been diagnosed with cancer.

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The 59-year-old, who played over 350 games for Walsall after joining the club as an apprentice and spent three years at Albion making more than 100 appearances, has been working as assistant manager at Leicester City.

In a statement on social media, the club has confirmed the coach has been diagnosed with cancer and is receiving treatment.

The statement read: "Craig is very grateful for the kind well-wishes he has been receiving and for the privacy that he and his family have been shown during this challenging time."

Shakespeare spent eight years at the Bescot Stadium and helped the club win promotion to Division Two via the playoffs.

After time with Sheffield Wednesday, Albion and Grimsby Town he ended his playing days with brief spells at AFC Telford United and Hednesford Town, before returning to Albion as the club's Football in the Community Officer.

From there, he went on to become an academy coach, reserve team coach, and in 2006 spent four weeks as caretaker boss following Bryan Robson's sacking.

He left Albion in 2008 and linked up with Nigel Pearson at Leicester City.

The 59-year-old was later appointed as a coach with Sam Allardyce in his one game stint in charge of England, before later being named manager of Leicester in 2017.

Spells at Everton and Watford followed before he linked up with former Walsall team mate Dean Smith at Aston Villa and then at Norwich City, before returning to Leicester in April 2023.

Susan Whelan, Leicester's chief executive, added: "Everyone at the Club sends their strength and support to Craig, his wife Karen and their children Elle and Jed.

"They will all be in our thoughts and prayers as Craig progresses with his treatment, surrounded by the love befitting his place in the hearts of the Leicester City family and the wider game.”

And Shakespeare's former clubs have been sending their best wishes to the former midfielder on social media.

Albion posted on X:

And Aston Villa said: