Bradford Bulls’ Tom Holmes issues positive health update: ‘Best get myself some new boots!’

Ben Olawumi
Tom Holmes

Bradford Bulls' Tom Holmes (right)

Bradford Bulls ace Tom Holmes has announced via social media that he will begin preparations for a return to the game having been given permission to do so by medical professionals.

At the start of January, Holmes released the news that he was undergoing tests having been handed an initial diagnosis of Subcutaneous Panniculitis-Like T-cell Lymphoma (SPTCL), a rare form of cancer.

Accordingly, the utility back – who had been preparing for a second season with Bradford – had to take some time away as he continued his own battle away from the field.

And while further tests, and possibly treatment, are still needed, Holmes has been given the green light to try and – in his own words – “try to resume normal life”.

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Bradford Bulls’ Tom Holmes issues positive health update

The Castleford-born ace, who celebrated his 28th birthday at the beginning of this month, featured 25 times for the Bulls in their run to the Championship play-offs last year, scoring 13 tries in the process.

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A post shared by Tom Holmes (@tomholmes96)

On his Instagram account, Holmes – @tomholmes96 – wrote: “Six incredibly long difficult months mentally, physically & even more, emotionally.

“Appointment after appointment, multiple biopsies, bone marrow extractions, multiple pet scans & then a second referral to start it all over again in Manchester…

“I’ve finally got a plan going forward, of some sort…

“The results from all these biopsies still shine no light on what’s going on to be honest, or a clear indication if it’s cancer or not due to rarity of it apparently. The specialists are still unsure and I haven’t had the all clear, which is still pretty scary.”

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‘Best get myself some new boots!’

Bradford are the fourth permanent club of Holmes’ rugby career to date, having joined from Featherstone Rovers ahead of the 2023 campaign.

The 28-year-old has 30 Super League appearances to his name, made between hometown club Castleford Tigers & Huddersfield Giants, with the milestone of 150 senior career appearances just eight games away.

In today’s update on Instagram, he continued: “With my general health stabilising more, which is a huge positive, and some scans showing activity has shrunk more than before, I have been given the go ahead to try resume normal life while being closely monitored in the hope things keep improving in my body.

“I’m no closer to knowing what’s started all this, what the complete diagnosis is. I’m just more reassured that it’s less likely to be malignant at this moment in time & hoping it stays that way.

“I can’t explain how these past months have been for not just myself, but my close friends, and especially my family at home, who have been amazing every step.

“Home life has been incredibly tough but my partner & kids have been my rock. It’s taken so much out of me & i can’t even put into words how I’ve felt daily and how I’m feeling right now.

“I’ve always had a glimmer of hope but the more time went on the harder it became, feels like a miracle that things are looking much more positive!

“Regarding my rugby, im going to work with the staff to ensure I’m gradually built back into it. I honestly didn’t even think I would even be able to get the chance to play again at times.

“The club have been incredibly supportive throughout all this too so I’m ready to give back the best I can and have a season to remember…best get myself some new boots!

“Much love”

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