If it's any consolation, if any player had to have an early career ending illness, then a player that had played at the very highest level and earned a fortune, even for a footballer, as well as winning league titles and scoring the winning goal for his country in a world cup final would be the one I would feel least sorry for.
I feel far more sorry for players like Dean Ashton, cut down before they ever got the chance to taste any real success, but had the potential to do so.
Yeah I saw that this morning. He's been linked with Liverpool for a while, so that bit is no surprise, although surely with this illness, which most reports say has effectively ended his career, I can't see why Metro have suggested a transfer is likely.
Mind you, Liverpool and players with injuries that rule them out for long periods is pretty standard fare these days.