Ellen White emotive in paying tribute to the strength shown by Ann-Katrin Berger after her devastating news
The news of goalkeeper Ann-Katrin Berger’s cancer diagnosis has rocked Birmingham City but her teammates have taken heart from her inspirational attitude towards tackling the illness.
Fellow Blues Ellen White and Hayley Ladd admitted the squad were understandably heart-broken after the German stopper revealed her news to her fellow players.
But according to White, this outpouring has shifted to positivity after Berger’s outlook and sheer bloody determination to beat the disease has seeped through to the rest of Marc Skinner’s charges.
The 27-year-old joined the Blues from Paris Saint-Germain and has carved out a reputation as one of the most defiant custodians in the FA WSL.
And while Berger’s diagnosis means she faces an immediate period away from the game – she is set for surgery this month – White was emotive in paying tribute to the strength shown by the stopper after her devastating news.
“She’s an absolute inspiration to be honest,” said White, who joined Birmingham from Notts County in January.
“The way she told everyone at the club, I sat down with her and we went through it all. She’s such a positive, inspiring person.
“You can’t be sad for her. She doesn’t want that, she wants to have a positive frame of mind.
“For us, it was heart-breaking to find out she had got cancer but we’ve got a massive support system. “I think you’ve seen over social media – the world of football has been so supportive of her.
“She’s going to knock this straight on the head, she’ll fight it, we couldn’t be prouder of her.
“We wish her the very best of luck. We’re with her all the way and we can’t wait to have her back.”
Berger has been a mainstay between the sticks since her arrival, keeping out the highly talented youngster Sophie Baggaley, who is currently on loan at Bristol City, for the Number 1 jersey.
White and Hayley Ladd were speaking at the SSE Women’s FA Cup Third Round draw at Park Hall School in Birmingham on Monday.
Ladd echoed her teammate’s praise and emphasised the squad were determined to bounce back on the field having taken strength from Berger’s attitude in the wake of extreme adversity.
“We’ve had the news of Ann-Katrin’s illness, so it’s been a tough start to the season and we’re looking to really pick things us now,” said the 24-year-old Welsh international.
“It’s incredibly inspiring, she’s been a real inspiration to all of us and all the footballing community – you saw the messages on Twitter wishing her well and she’s a really incredible person.
“We’re obviously all behind her every step of the way as well.”
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