THE football community has come together to offer their support to former Pars defender Sol Bamba, who has been diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

Cardiff City, with whom the centre back currently plays, revealed the shock news last night (Monday) that the 35-year-old has started treatment for the condition.

In a statement, the Bluebirds, who signed the Ivory Coast international in 2016, said: "We are saddened to inform supporters that Sol Bamba has been diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin lymphoma.⁣

"With the close support of the club's medical team, Sol has immediately started a course of chemotherapy treatment.⁣

"Universally admired by teammates, staff and supporters in the Welsh capital, Sol has begun his battle in typically positive spirits and will continue to be an integral part of the Bluebirds family. During treatment, Sol will support his teammates at matches and our younger players within the Academy, with whom he will continue his coaching development.⁣

"All future updates on Sol’s progress will be provided only via official Club channels. While we request privacy for him and his family at this time, messages of support to be passed on to Sol may be sent to⁣

"We are all with you, Sol."

News of Bamba's cancer battle led to an outpouring of support from clubs, players and supporters alike.

Dunfermline Press:

Bamba signed for the Pars in the summer 2006 and played in the Scottish Cup final that season.

Athletic, with whom he made his move into British football when he was signed for the club by Jim Leishman in the summer of 2016, Tweeted to say that "Everyone at DAFC is behind you", while former East End Park team-mate, Tam McManus, said: "Oh no this is dreadful news. I love big Sol. A brilliant big guy who I had some great times with at Dunfermline. I know he will fight this with everything he has."

Manchester City's Scotland star,and Pars fan, Caroline Weir, described the news as "really sad" whilst hailing Bamba a "Pars legend".

Messages were also posted by Hibernian, who the 46-times capped player joined after leaving Dunfermline, Leeds United and Leicester City, both of whom he played for before moving to South Wales.

Cardiff's Welsh rivals, Swansea City and Newport County, have also offered their support alongside a host of others, including the likes of Manchester City, West Bromwich Albion, while Liverpool's injured defender, Virgil Van Dijk, said: "Sending my best wishes and strength to the big man, you can beat this!! Stay strong".

Born in France to Ivorian parents, Bamba began his career with Paris St Germain but failed to establish himself in their first team.

Following a trial period, that included an impressive performance against West Bromwich Albion in a pre-season friendly, he joined the Pars on a two-year contract and made his debut in a 2-1 loss to Hearts.

Although he couldn't prevent Dunfermline being relegated from the SPL, Bamba was part of the side that reached the Scottish Cup final that season, which was lost 1-0 to Celtic.

He remained with the club the following season but, in September 2008, joined Hibs, where he played for just under two-and-a-half years.

From there, he moved on to Leicester City, Turkish side Trabzonspor and Italian club Palermo, whom he left to join Leeds in 2015, initially on loan.

Bamba went on to captain the Elland Road club but, in October 2016, he joined Neil Warnock and Cardiff.

He has gone on to become a hugely popular figure with the Bluebirds, helping them win promotion to the Premier League in 2018, where he played 28 times and scored four goals.

In all, he has made more than 100 appearances for Cardiff, and has played for his country at the 2008 Olympics and 2014 World Cup.

Bamba was also part of the Ivory Coast squad that were Africa Cup of Nations runners-up in 2012.

He has played six games for Cardiff this season, most recently in an EFL Cup tie in September.