AN EMOTIONAL Scott Parker says Cherries will "unite together" to support David Brooks, adding: "I have no doubt he’ll be back out there with us, doing what he does best."

Cherries and Brooks were rocked by the news this week that the 24-year-old had been diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma, a type of cancer that develops in the vessels and glands throughout the body.

Brooks is set to begin treatment next week and boss Parker admits the news has had a huge impact on the squad.

"It’s been a very tough week, firstly for David and his family," began Parker.

"It’s been devastating news in terms of his diagnosis and where his health is currently sitting. For the football club, for his teammates, for every member of staff and the fans, I’d echo those words as well. It’s been very, very difficult for us.

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"Currently now, the main focus for all of us being around him is putting in support mechanisms. Showing him the strength and the support that he’s going to need during these months coming up. He’s a liked and loved member of the team.

"Speaking to his teammates, I see that very, very clearly. I’ve been here for 16 weeks and of course I’ve got to know David, but some of these boys have been with him for many, many years.

"There’s real hurt and also what’s jumping out at me is a group of people, like all of us, who want to support him and help him through this next stage of his life really.

"He’ll go and start his treatment next week and from the hierarchy of this football club, putting things in place, support mechanisms for David and his family, that is going to constantly be happening. From his teammates, showing the support that he’s going to need. And then from the fans and what we’re about, we’ll unite together around David and give him the strength, along with his own strength.

"This is a strong boy and I have no doubt he’ll be back out there with us, amongst us doing what he does best and what he loves doing."

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Parker continued: "If there’s one great thing about the world we live in in football, we can unite. No matter what colours you wear, or what team you support, whether you like someone or don’t like someone because they play for an opposite team, there’s one thing football often can do and that’s unite people.

"David’s feeling that and he’s going to need to feel that through the next period.

"The prognosis, where it sits and the general feeling around it is one of being very positive. I say that obviously understanding the dynamics of what David’s currently going through.

"But David knows where he is, he knows the fight he has in front of him, but I have no doubt whatsoever he comes out of this. He’ll be in a place where we’re once again watching him on this field, he’s once again amongst his teammates and he’s that bright life of the party guy and we also see his quality, which we’ve become used to seeing as well."

Asked how much this news has affected the squad, Parker said: "For a large part of this group, they’ve been with David for some time. This has hit them like it’s hit all of us very, very hard.

"That’s down to myself and my staff in terms of understanding the different dynamics of what we’ve got in the squad really. I’ve sat down with a large part of the group and I see a group of men really that are not downbeat to be quite honest with you.

"They are looking for what they can do and what they need to do, what sort of things can we put in place, how can we help. That’s exactly what I would expect really, so that’s where we are."

He added: "This news is news that comes and you realise sometimes that in life there’s a bit more to what we live in than the hustle and bustle of what we live in.

"Three points here, a bad performance is everything, it probably just brings you down a little bit in terms of understanding there’s a lot more to it.

"I have no doubt this group of players here will be doing all they can to make sure Brooksy is looking on at us, whether we’re playing, whether we’re around him, whatever that may be, that he feels right part of what this great club will be and he feels that support to make sure he feels part of what we’re doing, even though he’s not going to be directly with us."