A young father and talented footballer has tragically died after being diagnosed with penis cancer.
Dale Clarke was only 26 years old when he passed away on Sunday after battling with the rare form of cancer which was shockingly ‘eating away’ at his penis.
To make matters even more heartbreaking for Dale’s family and friends, his fiancée is set to give birth to their baby daughter in just a matter of weeks.
Dale, who played football for Forest Hall football club in Newcastle, was incredibly shocked to learn he had cancer after he went to the doctors because of a lump on his penis.
The lump was originally the size of a grain of a rice but within three weeks it had expanded to the size of a grape and continued to get bigger while ‘eating away’ at his penis.
In doing so, the cancer completely cut off all sensation to his penis – ruining his sex life, which Dale admitted at the time saying: ‘That part of my life is gone now’.
Dale was one of the youngest people doctors had ever seen with penis cancer.
In total the young footballer went through five operations, nine rounds of radiotherapy, and two rounds of chemo but ultimately there was nothing that doctors could do as the tumours kept coming back.
As a result of the cancer and constant surgery, Dale was left with a gaping wound on the tip of his penis. Skin taken from his thigh was then used to cover the wound.
Tim Hutchinson, who worked with Dale for a decade, told Chronicle Live:
Dale was a really funny lad and a lovely kid. He would do anything for you.
He was a larger than life character. He would give you his last penny if you needed it.
Dale was such a lovable scoundrel. He broke every rule we made but then he’d give you a cuddle and say sorry. To me, he was a mate as well.
Even though it was an aggressive cancer and after they told him it was terminal, he said he was going to last as long as he could and make it fight.
Before he passed away Dale spoke out about his condition saying:
It’s absolutely destroyed me as a person. I struggle to walk to the toilet and my penis has no use other than to try and urinate from it.
It has no feeling. The cancer is busy eating away around it so I will probably lose it altogether soon.
They could cut it off and it wouldn’t bother me, that’s how far past it I am. I know it’s terminal, but I’m not planning to go anywhere for a few years.
But I’m a solider. I’ve got my kids to think about and I can’t be selfish and give up.
Symptoms of penis cancer include: a growth on the penis, especially on the glans or foreskin, changes in the colour of the penis, discharge, blood coming from the foreskin or tip of the penis, unexplained pain, small, crusty bumps beneath the foreskin, swelling.
Rest in peace.
Our thoughts go out to Dale’s family and friends at this hard time.
If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677.
Joseph Loftus is a Gold Standard NCTJ journalist with four years experience working for international and regional press.
As well as working for UNILAD and LADbible, Joseph has worked as Liverpool Correspondent for Unsigned & Independent Magazine, as well as stints with the Liverpool Echo and Warrington Guardian.