Former England boss Sven-Goran Eriksson has admitted his terminal cancer diagnosis was very difficult to accept for him and his family.
Eriksson, 75, announced on Thursday that he has ‘maybe at best a year’ to live following his diagnosis.
His pancreatic cancer was picked up after he suffered ‘five small strokes’ having collapsed after going for a 5k run last year.
Eriksson, who served as England manager at three tournaments between 2001 and 2006, was asked by TalkTV about how his family had reacted to the news.
He admitted that the diagnosis had been difficult to accept, but declared that ‘life has to go on’.
Eriksson (pictured this week) revealed he has terminal cancer and may have less than a year to live, but he refuses to feel sorry for himself
The football manager was England boss between 2001 and 2006. Sven pictured with David Beckham after dumped out of the 2006 World Cup by Portugal in the quarter final
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‘We have to deal with it because the alternative is to give up and be sitting alone at home,’ Eriksson said.
‘The whole family, the children are grown up of course one living in Spain and one in Stockholm, so they are coming as often as they can.
‘We talk every day.
‘In the beginning it was very difficult to accept it, but once you accept it, life goes on.
‘Life has to go on.’
Eriksson’s two children had ensured he underwent tests last year following his collapse on the 5k run.
While he was informed he would recover from the small strokes, doctors then revealed the bombshell cancer diagnosis.
‘Well, I thought I was fully healthy, but suddenly I got a stroke, small strokes, so I fell,’ Eriksson told the BBC.
Between 2001 and 2006 he guided the so-called ‘golden generation’ of stars including David Beckham, Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard but never won the major trophy that was expected
Wayne Rooney described Eriksson as a ‘brilliant coach and a special person’ and urged his former boss to ‘keep fighting’
Rooney was defended by Eriksson following his red card in the 2006 World Cup quarter-final against Portugal
John Terry and Steven Gerrard were among former England stars to react to the news
‘My children took me to the hospital and after one day of examination they told me I’d had five small strokes but that’s OK they said, no problem, you will recover 100 per cent from that.
‘But worse is they said you have cancer which we can’t operate on and we will give you treatment, medicine and you’ll live as long as possible.’
Eriksson also spoke to Sweden’s P1 radio station, and said: ‘Everyone understands that I have an illness that is not good. Everyone guesses it’s cancer and it is. But I have to fight as long as I can’.
When asked what the prognosis is, he added that he has ‘maybe at best a year, at worst a little less, or at best maybe even longer. You can’t be absolutely sure. It is better not to think about it’.
In a glittering managerial career Sven was boss of IFK Gothenburg, Benfica, Roma, Roma, Fiorentina, Sampdoria, Lazio, Manchester City and Leicester City.
He was also manager of Mexico, Ivory Coast and the Philippines.
But while in charge of England for five years he became the most famous football manager in the world.
Between 2001 and 2006 he guided the so-called ‘golden generation’ of stars including David Beckham, Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard but never won the major trophy that was expected.
Several England players under Eriksson offered their support to their former manager following his announcement on Thursday.
Wayne Rooney, who was handed his England debut by Eriksson, said: ‘Thoughts are with Sven Goran Eriksson and his family. A brilliant coach and a special person. Loved and respected by everyone. We’re all with you Sven, keep fighting.’
Former England stars John Terry and Steven Gerrard, who became regulars during Eriksson’s era, were also among those to react to the news.
‘Terribly sad news, thinking of you gaffer,’ Terry wrote, while Gerrard posted ‘Stay strong gaffer.’
Danny Mills, part of England’s 2002 World Cup squad under Eriksson, referenced England’s famous 5-1 win away against Germany during the qualification campaign in his message.
‘Incredibly sad news,’ Mills wrote, adding ‘will always be remembered for this game’.