Jamie Waite is delighted to be given a chance to resurrect his career with City - but he is even happier just to be alive.

The 21-year-old goalkeeper was diagnosed with cancer of the lymph glands 18 months ago, which spread to his chest and abdomen.

But after a ten-month course of chemotherapy, the youngster has received the all-clear and is desperate to relaunch his career at Valley Parade, having been given a contract until the end of the season.

He said: "Being told I had cancer as a 19-year-old was a bit of a surreal moment for me.

"To contemplate not seeing my family again, let alone playing football, is something that has really bucked my ideas up and I really relish this opportunity."

Waite - due to make his first appearance on the City bench at home to Stockport today - was at MK Dons when he found out he had the disease.

He said: "I lost my hair and my metabolism almost came to a standstill. I was going to the toilet about twice a month and my weight went up to 17 and a half stone.

"At first I still kept trying to train with MK Dons as I didn't want my face to be forgotten but I had to call it a day seven months in when the doctors told me the cancer cells were not contracting like they should be so they had to up my chemo'. I could barely walk out of the hospital let alone train."

Waite has been training with the Bantams for a number of weeks after a spell with Blue Square South side St Albans City.

"I feel a lot sharper," he said. "The last five or six months I've got my weight down to 12 and a half stone.

"My recovery has proved hard after training but that has got better and I feel a lot fitter since training with Bradford."

The goalkeeper's career may have taken a back seat in recent years but it started with a bang when he was 15.

He became the second youngest ever international when he came on as a substitute for Thailand against Singapore, having impressed manager Peter Withe playing in a under-17 game.

Waite, whose mother is from Thailand, said: "It seemed like fate. The third-choice keeper hurt his finger and the second-choice one suffered from sickness on the day before the game so I was named on the bench.

"Then after 60 minutes the keeper got injured and I came on.

"For a young boy, it was all very strange. I was in the Guiness Book of Records and meeting Pele. It all went crazy but I'm not going to live off that.

"It doesn't mean much as long as you are playing well for your club."

With the Olympics in Beijing next year, Waites would love to press his claims for a return to the national squad.

He said: "I am always in touch with officials and if can play for the reserves regularly and maybe a get a chance with the first team, maybe that can get me back into the national side. But first and foremost I want to get my career going again and repay the gaffer and the chairman.

"Bradford is a massive, massive club and definitely shouldn't be in League Two.

"The gaffer has been amazing - he has got a relationship with the players which I have never seen before at any other club.

"He is a very honest manager which, in my career so far, I have found you don't get many of."

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